Here are the 10 best Pinot Grigios to drink in 2021

Here are the best Pinot Grigios from The Global Pinot Grigio Masters 2020, taking in ten top-scoring samples from around the world, including England, Canada, Oregon, Marlborough, Alsace and the Veneto.

The following wines were selected from among the leading medal-winners in 2020’s Global Pinot Grigio Masters, which was judged by David Round MW, Patricia Stefanowicz MW, and myself in December at London’s 28°-50° Wine Workshop & Kitchen.

To see the results in full, and read our analysis on the current state of Pinot Grigio being made today, in terms of style and quality, as well as the best places to grow the grape, click here.

Meanwhile, please visit The Global Masters website for more information, or, to enter future competitions – giving you the chance to feature online and in print – please call: +44 (0) 20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at: sophie@thedrinksbusiness.com.

Below are the top 10 Pinot Grigios to drink in 2021.

Fox & Fox, Inspiration Brut, Blanc de Gris, English sparkling wine

  • Producer: Fox & Fox
  • Region: Sussex
  • Country: UK
  • Grape variety: Pinot Gris
  • ABV: 12%
  • Vintage: 2014
  • Closure: Cork
  • Retail price (UK): £39.00
  • Medal: Gold

Should you be curious to know what top-quality, traditional method, sparkling wine from Pinot Gris tastes like, then turn to England to find out, with this fantastic Fox & Fox fizz from Sussex. Using Pinot Gris planted in 2004, it’s a delicious drop, with flavours of apple pie, cream and hazelnuts, along with the hallmark cleansing citrusy freshness of fine English sparkling wine.

Attems, Pinot Grigio Ramato

  • Producer: Marchesi Frescobaldi
  • Region: Friuli Venezia Giulia
  • Country: Italy
  • Grape variety: Pinot Grigio
  • Abv: 13%
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Closure: Cork
  • Approx. retail price (UK): £15-£20
  • Medal: Silver

Taking its colour from the skins of Pinot Gris, this very pale pink drink is a wonderful find to surprise the die-hard Provençal rosé drinker. Using fruit from Friuli, it delivers an array of delicate flavours, from apple to raspberry, while having an appealing creamy taste and texture, and a chalky finish, in what is an intensely refreshing, delicious drop that makes a change from the usual you know what.

Castello di Roncade, Pinot Grigio, DOC Venezia

  • Producer: Castello di Roncade
  • Region: Veneto
  • Country: Italy
  • Grape variety: Pinot Grigio
  • Abv: 12.5%
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Closure: Cork
  • Retail price (UK): Under £10 (£8)
  • Medal: Gold

It’s hard to find balanced whites with plenty of personality for under £10, but that’s what you get with this Pinot Grigio from Castello di Roncade. Offering masses of ripe apple and juicy pear, and some lime zest lift on the finish, it’s ripe as well as bright, and a highly impressive wine for remarkably little money.

Bestheim, Pinot Gris, Premium Reserve

  • Producer: SCVB BESTHEIM
  • Region: Alsace
  • Country: France
  • Grape variety: Pinot Gris
  • Abv: 13%
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Closure: Screwcap
  • Retail price (UK): Under £10 (£8.70)
  • Medal: Gold

Rarely does one taste something with a honeyed richness, and layers of juicy fruit from tangerine to peach and pear, for under £10, but that’s what you get with this Alsatian Pinot Gris from Bestheim. With around 6g/l of residual sugar, the wine has an appealing roundness but no overt sweetness, and plenty of apple-like freshness on the finish. A bargain.

Giusti, Longheri, Pinot Grigio DOC Delle Venezie

  • Producer: Giusti Wine
  • Region: Delle Venzie
  • Country: Italy
  • Grape variety: Pinot Gris
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Closure: Cork
  • Retail price (UK): £15
  • Medal: Silver

While this Pinot Grigio just missed out on a Gold medal, it is a very fine example of the Delle Venezie offer, with masses of ripe pear fruit, a touch of cream and almond and then a citrus zest finish to offset a pleasingly oily mid-palate. It’s may be a dry refreshing white, but it’s not disappointingly light.

SeaGlass Pinot Grigio

  • Producer: Trinchero Family Estates
  • Region: Santa Barbara County
  • Country: USA
  • Grape variety: Pinot Grigio (97%), Chenin Blanc (3%)
  • Abv: 13.5%
  • Vintage: 2018
  • Closure: Screwcap
  • Retail price (UK): £13.99
  • Medal: Gold

This fine white wine comes from California’s Santa Barbara County, a place most famous for Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, but with this drop, clearly a wine region well suited to growing Pinot Grigio too. Expect flavours from matchstick to peach and pear, followed by a cleansing apple-tasting bite, making for a layered, ripe, but refreshing white.

Mission Hill Estate, Reserve Pinot Gris

  • Producer: Mission Hill Estate
  • Region: Okanagan Valley, British Columbia VQA
  • Country: Canada
  • Grape variety: Pinot Gris
  • Abv: 13.5%
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Closure: Screwcap
  • Retail price (UK): £22
  • Medal: Master

With the hard-won title of Master being awarded to Canada’s Mission Hill Estate, it’s clear that if you want top-end Pinot Grigio you need not confine yourself to France or Italy. Using grapes from the Okanagan Valley, this reserve expression delivers layers of complementary flavours from ripe peach and pear to crisper apple and tangerine characters, along with a touch of smoke.

The King’s Thorn Pinot Gris

  • Producer: Marisco Vineyards
  • Region: Marlborough
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Grape variety: Pinot Gris (99%), Other (1%)
  • Abv: 14%
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Closure: Screwcap
  • Retail price: £12.99
  • Medal: Gold

Proving that Marlborough can be home to more than high-quality whites from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay is this memorable, part barrel-aged Pinot Gris. Made by Brent Marris’s Marisco Vineyards, it’s a complex wine, with characters ranging from vanilla and cashew to lemon curd, ripe pear and crisp apple, and, while it has a gently oily texture, it delivers a pristine, bright finale.

Joel Gott, Oregon Pinot Gris

  • Producer: Trinchero Family Estates
  • Region: Oregon
  • Country: USA
  • Grape variety: Pinot Gris
  • Abv: 12.8 – 13.2%
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Closure: Screwcap
  • Retail price: £18.99
  • Medal: Gold

Considering Oregon’s expertise with Pinot Noir it should perhaps come as little surprise that the region should have mastered wines made from its gris sibling. This example has plenty of character, with a note of butter, dill and white pepper, along with fresh, intense apple fruit. It’s a persistent, layered and refreshing wine with a subtle oak-influence.

La Roncaia, Pinot Grigio

  • Producer: La Roncaia
  • Region: Friuli Venezia Giulia
  • Country: Italy
  • Grape variety: Pinot Grigio
  • Abv: 13.5%
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Closure: Cork
  • Retail price: £25
  • Medal: Master

This isn’t the first time that La Roncaia has wowed the judges in the Global Pinot Gris Masters, convincing us that this is a star producer of the grape, and our best performer of the competition. Indeed, if you meet a Pinot Grigio sceptic, show them the grape’s quality potential with a glass of this barrel-aged white. Flavours range from hazelnut and cigar box, to bitter almond and beeswax, along with fruit characters from ripe pear to crisp apple. It’s complex and complete now, but with the potential to improve with cellaring too.

Read more

THE BEST WINES FROM THE GLOBAL PINOT GRIGIO MASTERS

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