The Two Faces of Grigio

The buzz-grape in the world of wine over the past few years has been Pinot Grigio… but Grigio is a style and one that has been bastardized in favor of the trend. Pinot Grigio is Pinot Gris in an Italian style, which means crisp and citrusy. Pinot Gris is a fresh clean style of wine with lots of white fruits like apple, peach and pear – both are white (just in case you are new to these wines). But over the time of the rise of Pinot Grigio, the two styles have become interchangeable, much to the chagrin of those actually looking for one style or the other… case in point: these two wines from South Africa, both named Pinot Grigio, but two very different styles (meaning one is misnamed).

Flat RoofTwo Oceans 2012 Pinot Grigio ($10.25 – #295022) is the Pinot Gris of the two wines with the peach, apple and pear nose with hints of apricot if you’re willing to look for it… the palate is tropical from the get-go, then moves to apple on the mid-palate before going grapefruit pith and apple core on the finish… this wine is a mouth-filler as it has a viscous quality to it, so it lingers long after you swallow (***½+)

Flat Roof Manor 2012 Pinot Grigio ($10.25 – #27128): same year, same grape but totally different style. The nose hits you with plenty of lemon and lime, some tangerine and grapefruit zest, while the citrus hits your olfactories and keeps on coming… and the palate doesn’t let up off the throttle… plenty of citrus pleasure with lemon-lime at the start and mid-palate; there’s a nice hit of lemonade before kicking in with nice acidity on the green apple finish. This one is a light affair that doesn’t linger but proves very refreshing sip after sip (****).

It all depends on what you’re looking for in your Grigio – classic (citrus) or new world (white fruit)… or better yet, pick up both and experience the two faces known now as Pinot Grigio.