Brian Walsh, chief winemaker for Yalumba winery, thought he had a surefire product for a U.K. market besotted with Italian Pinot Grigio. His new Pinot Grigio was made in a style more associated with wines labeled as Pinot Gris, as the same grape is known throughout most of the rest of the world. It had lively balance and more tangy citrus and melon flavors than most Italian examples, which can taste surprisingly similar to water.
"They said it was too flavorsome," he recalled over lunch last week in Napa. "They would not buy it."
Which raises the question: What's in a name? In the New World, most vintners tend to use Grigio on their labels for light, crisp styles similar to Italian bottling, Gris for fuller-bodied, darker-hued wines such as those Alsace produces.
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