Helfrich 2008 Steinklotz Pinot Gris

Alsace Grand Cru, France; 12.5% ABV
$7 at the Richmond, CA, store on 24 Mar

Helfrich_2008_PinotGris_SteinklotzAfter the regular Helfrich 2008 Pinot Gris was so good, I jumped at this bottle, and I was not disappointed.

The wine shows solid flavors of rich honeysuckle, yellow peach / lighter apricot, yellow pear, non-aromatic white pear, its ripe fruit and light sugar reasonably well-balanced with acid and greenish grape skin bitterness.  I did not get the spice so much, but Don mentions “spice and mineral notes.”  The start of the taste made me think it would be a heavy, monolithic wine, but the taste is long, and its complexity and balance emerge, although I wouldn’t have minded a little more acid.  Soon after opening, there is a slight hint of the wine’s becoming too old, a tiny amount of yellow raisin / sourness, but I thought this aired out pretty quickly.  Still, I’d recommend drinking it very soon.  My bottle went nicely with a sushi dinner, including standing up to the notorious uni.


13 thoughts on “Helfrich 2008 Steinklotz Pinot Gris

    1. jimvan49

      My take on this wine with dinner – it shows complexity and breeding. Peach and other stone fruit aromas with a hint of lime, a softer mouthfeel, and acidity at the back end with long lasting flavors and a touch of bitterness. Quite a step up on the complex scale from most of the wines at GO, and it goes really well with pork. I’m really glad they got this in.

  1. rgardner2

    I have a couple of bottles of the non-Grand Cru PG so I hope this makes it to WA so I can open both and compare (I also have some of their Gewuertz). I’ve heard (rumor) last week that the local WA stores have received wines earmarked as wine sale only. I mentioned the wine sale coming up and the checker said we’ve got wine in the back just for the sale.

  2. Darrell

    Preparing for the upcoming sale and since many have evaluated or tasted this wine, I went to Oakland and accidentally paid $7.99 for a bottle which was the same price in SF. Opened the bottle at a cold outdoor temperature and didn’t find much in the nose, almost vinous. The sweetness was at or just below most Spatleses and might go with sweeter Chinese dishes. This is my first purchase of a Pinot Gris or Grigio and I must say, why bother when one can buy Riesling from the Alsace or Germany or Gewurztraminer from Alsace. I did get that yellow raisin / sourness in the flavor and not the nose though. That greenish grape skin bitterness did grip my tongue. At $3.99 a bottle, it’s worth the purchase, but its just drinkable at $7.99.

  3. Seedboy

    Don, that is odd. Not just the price difference, but of the two cases of this I’ve seen the bottles are all pristine.

  4. lim13

    I’d love to see this up here in WA, as I’m a big fan of well-made Alsatian whites. And over the years, I’ve more often than not found them to be lower in acid than I’d prefer. But they’re still usually so flavorful and delicious.

  5. Seedboy

    This is a lovely wine. I’ve seen it only in Richmond, and there were only a few bottles left on the shelf yesterday.

    1. Don Bevins

      I found the wine at the Sacramento Greenhaven store yesterday at $3.99. Great, but I could find only one bottle that did not show signs of leakage.

      1. Don Bevins

        As we know, prices from store to store can be all over the board. I am still buying the Charquino albarino at the Citrus Heights store for $3.99. The bottles at the Roseville Square GO in 6 bottle wood cases was in much better condition.

      2. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Don. You raise an important point. The cork on my bottle did look a bit unevenly wet, at most about 2/3 the way up. I could easily imagine the wine in other bottles in the bunch having been pushed up enough to leak. However, even in a bottle that has leaked, the wine can still be okay. Did you try or has anyone tried one of those bottles that appeared to have leaked?

        1. weinish

          The wine has a bit too much sugar for my liking, and no real acidity at all, which is too bad.

          However, I think the review is accurate, and if you’re into those descriptors you’ll probably enjoy it.

    2. seedboy

      My family has a Valentine’s Day tradition: fondue dinner, cheese and chocolate. The cheese was a mix of the aged gouda and the young fontina found at the GO. This wine was quite lovely with it, with sufficient acidity to stand up to the cheeses. It actually tasted more dry with the food. A winning pair. I’m happy to have bought a lot of these.


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