De Bortoli La Boheme Act Three ‘Pinot Gris and friends’ 2012 (Yarra Valley, Vic)
13%, Screwcap, $20
I rather like seeing a fraction more theatrics in my wine, and this theatrically named, theatrically made Pinot Gris/aromatic blend does that well. An Alsatian blend of Pinot Gris and other (unlisted) aromatics (Riesling and Gewurtz is my guess) that was hand picked and fermented in a mix of tank, cask and barrel. Wild fermented and left on lees to gain texture.
‘Pinot Gris and friends’ in nature and Pinot Gris on nose it is properly varietal which is more than welcome, punctuated by a little sweaty, aftershave fullness. The smell of love? The palate is full too, a little boozy on the finish but has a wonderful mix of lees weight and ripe pear Pinot Gris mid palate plumpness, if just a little tinny on the finish.
Most importantly, this tastes very ‘real’ with a certain persistence of flavour that marks it as an actual Pinot Gris, not a half-baked Pinot Grigio. Important distinction that. I’d like it to be even richer and fuller actually, if the acidity can be maintained and the palate delineation can be upped. Regardless this is handy and interesting juice at a very worthy price.
Score: 17.5/20 91/100
Would I buy it? Perhaps. With spicy garlic squid it would be a winner. A little more precision and it would be a superstar.