For a region to do Pinot Gris especially well may seem like a dubious claim to fame (sort of like the Hunter doing great Verdelho). I think Orange does a great line in this difficult varietal, though. The examples I’ve tasted have, for the most part, avoided the many traps this style can fall into: too neutral, too hot, too fat, and so on. This one is no exception – I like it a lot.
A full nose showing nashi pear, spice and a range of interesting, more herbal notes. It’s certainly not the last word in complexity (nor would I expect it to be) but it’s generous and poised, never tipping over into the kind of coarseness that I find especially destructive with this style. The aroma seems to have texture, which sounds odd but I think results from the way spice is woven through the fruit, creating spikes and valleys of aroma. It’s a very happy smell.
The palate shows controlled body and fullness of fruit flavour, along with sufficient acid to give the wine shape and flow. Entry is cool and subtle, building to a middle palate full of yellow fruits, spice and flowers. The fruit is somewhat one-dimensional in flavour, but it’s correct and well proportioned. I like the way a range of higher toned aromas seem to hit the top of my mouth with each sip. Flavour persists through the after palate, where it remains mercifully unmolested by alcohol (this is only 12.5% ABV).
Ross Hill Wines