Frog Rock Pinot Gris 2009 (Mudgee, NSW)
$18, Screwcap, 13.8%
Frankly, I didn’t really expect to like this. It’s an under $20 Pinot Gris you see, a grape and style that is more often than not flavourless shit, to the point where most Pinot Gris that land on my desk get little more than a cursory, derogatory glance (with certain exceptions of course) before it gets given away.
Hence I opened this up for a group of thirsty salespeople and almost forgot about tasting it myself. But their cooing of approval had me reaching for the last of the bottle, and I’m rather glad I did, because it is surprisingly good.
Interestingly, this pours yellow in colour but with just the slightest salmon tint, which I rather like seeing in Pinot Gris, mainly as it suggests both ripeness and a bit of skin contact action (and hopefully more flavour as a result). It smells properly ripe too, with a fragrant and somewhat heady nose complete with 80’s musky aftershave (Aramis?) and perhaps some botrytis in there too (though the botrytis doesn’t detract). Palate follows it up with red apple & corella pear fruit characters in a setting this is much riper, denser and richer than most over Pinot Gris in this category. It is just a tad broad through the finish, which is perhaps the only real downer here.
Surprisingly persistent and varietal (labelled correctly too), I’m happy to proclaim this as a (very rare) good value Pinot Gris. 16.8/89