Great Wine: Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Gris 2007

Over the past 18 months or so I’ve heard great things about New Zealand Pinot Gris (related to the common Pinot Grigio).  The word was that this was fast becoming the “new” Sauvignon Blanc and was well worth tracking down.  Luckily I was in Waitrose the other day and managed to get my hands on a bottle of Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Gris 2007.

Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Gris 2007

I was lucky enough to visit New Zealand a few years ago and one of the “Cellar Doors” I visited was Villa Maria.  At the time I thought they were a bit too much of a “big name” but I enjoyed their wines and the staff there were very friendly (as was most of New Zealand!).  I’ve grown fond of their Private Bin series over the last few years and always enjoy picking up a Sauvignon Blanc or Gewurztraminer.  I was therefore quite excited (as Mrs ITs Food will testify) when I found the Pinot Gris.

The fantastic Villa Maria website gives us lots of information about the 2007 wine.

Bottle Size: 750ml
Variety: Pinot Gris
Vintage: 2007
Region: East Coast
Vineyard: Various
Country: New Zealand
Alcohol: 14.0%
pH: 3.6
Total Acidity: 5.3g/L
Residual Sugar: 7.5g/L
Sweetness Indicator: Nil
Serving Temperature: Lightly Chilled

The 2007 vintage in New Zealand was characterised by warm and dry conditions across most of the country. Marlborough was fine with average temperatures across the region for most of vintage. Hawkes Bay and Gisborne in the north island experienced a cool and annoyingly wet summer, however the sun shone in late January and warm, dry conditions extended right into April.

The fruit for this wine was grown in the Hawkes Bay, Gisborne and Marlborough winegrowing regions. Vineyards across these three regions with a diversity of soil types ranging from free draining gravely soils to silty clay, are utilised to grow Pinot Gris. To ensure good intensity of flavour, low yields are maintained at approximately 4kg/vine. Routine leaf plucking provides good bunch exposure ensuring ripe clean fruit is achieved.

Harvested, crushed and de-stemmed, the fruit was immediately pressed to avoid excess skin contact. The free run juice was naturally settled and then racked clear to begin fermentation. Neutral winemaking yeast strains were used to ferment the wine with regular lees stirring employed for two months to enhance texture. Post fermentation the wine was gently fined, stabilised, filtered and bottled.

The spicy pear and hints of green apple dominate the aromas. On the palate the wine is soft and rich, with a balanced sweetness and finishes with hints of fresh acidity.

I lightly chilled this wine, treating it like I would a Sauvignon Blanc.  Would this tase like a Pinot Grigio?  Or would it taste nice? 🙂

Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Gris 2007 back label

My tasting notes tell me…

Less zingy than a Sauvignon Blanc, softness like a nice Chardonnay.  Nice colour, pale mid yellow. Sharp, fruity, buttery, strong tasting. Maybe 5 stars!?!

This was a very nice wine, a bit more of a fruity kick to it than a Sauvignon Blanc with buttery undertones.  This is the best non-sauvignon blanc I’ve had all year. It rates a 4.5 stars for me but I’m feeling generous so it’s getting rounded up to a fantastic five stars!

Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Gris 2007

Grape: Pinot Gris
Alcohol: 14%
Guide Price: <£10 (<£9 online at Waitrose)
I bought this wine at: Waitrose (In store)
ITs Food Rating: Five stars

5 Stars


About itsfood

An IT Manager with an interest in tech (because he's a geek who enjoys his job too much) and food & wine (because he enjoys eating and drinking when not working).
This entry was posted in 5 Stars, Good wine, Pinot Gris, Wine and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Great Wine: Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Gris 2007

  1. Your comment ..”well worth tracking down…” is right on the mark. New Zealand has many wines like this and I have used the phrase “treasure hunt” to describe finding them.

    The next chapter in New Zealand wine will be the numerous artisan handcrafted wines making it to other countries.

  2. itsfood says:

    Feel free to point us in the direction of any ones to look out for Ron. Regular readers will know my love of Highfield SB. 🙂

  3. Go exploring!

    One day spend a little more maybe a little less the next. Ask who made the wine and try their other wines. Learn a little about the different regions in New Zealand and compare the wines.

    I think it is more fun to go out and discover on our own.

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