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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > NEW WORLD: Pinot Gris

Winner Details

New World: Pinot Gris

2017 Gold: 2 Silver: 3 Bronze: 3 Commended: 7
2016 Gold: 3 Silver: 0 Bronze: 4 Commended: 4


Stylistically, this variety is still rather all over the place. Go back 10 years, and the producers who were bothering to make it at all tended to look to Alsace for their inspiration. The rise of Pinot Grigio, however, seems to have had an impact, with the wines generally lighter, fresher and, yes, drier.

The result was tasters who quite liked what they saw, and could see a use for it, and who largely welcomed the lack of RS, but who were still some way short of falling head over heels in love. What, they seemed to be saying, is the point of this wine? Is it cheap? Expensive? By the glass? Food-matchable? Unhelpfully, the answer to all these questions was ‘yes’.

All that we can say, with some degree of certainty is that the Kiwis seem to be more interested in it than anyone else.


‘The best examples had minerality and good citrus and apple flavour, the worst examples were a bit too alcoholic. On the whole, some lovely, lively, fresh wines.’ James Hocking, The Vineyard Group

‘Not exciting, but a bit more going for them than styles from Italy.’ Carlos Ferreira, The Sign of the Don

‘There were a lot of drier, fresher, cleaner styles this year. I think that’s a good thing. People in the New World are really understanding how to get the most out of the grape. A pleasing flight and good value for money.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘Very food-friendly wines – we list quite a few [at Hakkasan]. They are quite versatile and work really well with spicy food, savoury food, and with delicate dishes. Even if you get quite a complex dish it can work quite well… But the off-dry style is a little more difficult to take on; guests aren’t really looking for it.’ Olivier Gasselin, Hakkasan Group

Award winners

Found 15 wines

New World: Pinot Gris

Babich, Rongopai, Pinot Gris 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Team leader Annette Scarfe MW was charmed by this Gold winner’s ‘delightful attack of pear skins with a lovely core of acidity making it clean and fresh’, while Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin found it ‘peachy, delicate, fragrant and flinty’. Tanya Mann of Linden House Stansted was taken by ‘refreshing lemon notes, as well as peach and spice, and a rose-petal note, too – all with nice body’, while Sumilier's Sumi Sarma thought it ‘refreshing and elegant, with zingy acidity – a match for poached trout or salmon in a cream sauce’.

£7.50 Molson Coors

Kim Crawford, Pinot Gris 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Great value and a rich yet refreshing style inspired judges to reserve this a spot on the Gold List. Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels praised ‘hints of kerosene and ripe stone fruits on the nose. The palate has a waxy mouth-coating feel but has a fresh, lingering finish.’ For Buddha Bar’s Piotr Artur Tomaszewski, this was ‘easy to drink, rounded and well balanced, with notes of green tea and jasmine with mineral, earthy notes’. ‘Match with oily fish served with courgettes,’ added Linden House Stansted’s Tanya Mann.

£9.77 Liberty Wines

Kooyong, Beurrot, Pinot Gris 2016, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Floral aromas with notes of jasmine and peach, and a touch of oak,’ began Immacolata Cannavo of Hakkasan Dubai, while James Hocking of The Vineyard Group found it ‘generous and many-layered, with great fruit-acid balance’.

£14.03 Enotria&Coe

Tinpot Hut, Pinot Gris 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira found this ‘very fresh, with tropical nuts, mango, pineapple and lemon fruit’, while James Hocking of The Vineyard Group picked out a ‘slightly viscous character, baked apple fruit and a good finish’.

£9.89 Liberty Wines

Peregrine, Pinot Gris 2015, Central Otago, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Team leader Laurent Richet MS enjoyed its ‘lovely richness and ripeness, golden apple and spiced pear fruit’, while Francisco Macedo of Bovey Castle noted its ‘high acidity but good balance, peach and apricot fruit with greener pear and citrus notes’.

£14.88 Enotria&Coe

Esk Valley, Pinot Gris 2012, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

A good, fruit-salad style according to Francisco Macedo of Bovey Castle, who found ‘crisp green flavours with notes of citrus, peach and apricot, freshened up by nicely balanced acidity and a mid-length finish’.

£7.72 Hatch Mansfield

Mount Langi Ghiran, Billi Billi, Pinot Grigio 2016, Victoria, Australia

Bronze medal winner

A wine that was ‘crunchy, refreshing, citrus and juicy’ for Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin, with team leader Annette Scarfe MW highlighting its ‘lovely fresh peas and citrus fruit, clean and vibrant palate with a lovely texture’.

£8.89 Bibendum

Rockburn, Pinot Gris 2015, Central Otago, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘Floral notes of honeysuckle complemented by peachy stone fruits,’ began an impressed Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels, continuing: ‘The palate has a lovely weight with outstanding limey acidity and a long, lingering finish. Shows great value.’

£13.57 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Argento, Pinot Grigio 2016, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£7.00 Bibendum

Errazuriz, Estate Series, Pinot Grigio 2016, Aconcagua Valley , Chile

Commended medal winner

Babich, Black Label, Pinot Gris 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£7.81 Bibendum

Ara, Single Estate, Pinot Gris 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£10.11 Bibendum

Prophet's Rock, Pinot Gris 2014, Central Otago, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£18.88 Bibendum

Matahiwi, Mount Holdsworth, Pinot Gris 2015, Wairarapa, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Innocent Bystander, Pinot Gris 2015, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

£10.63 Liberty Wines


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