According to the media release accompanying Climbing's 2011 Pinot Gris, pinot gris/grigio now outsells riesling in Australia. A quick glance towards the Wine Reviews section of this website will show I'm not completely helping that cause, but it pleases me to discover more and more Australian winemakers, like Climbing's Debbie Lauritz, are treating gris with real purpose these days (varied fruit ripeness, a little lees stirring and some barrel fermentation being applied here).
Displaying the grape's pale orange/bronze colours, Climbing's 2011 Pinot Gris releases an aroma of brown nashi pears, jasmine flowers and lemon pith with a faint tone of honeysuckle. It's a little subdued, rising with more of a slow, gentle softness than a piercing intensity. Clean texture and a well controlled richness perform the palate's greatest tricks, unleashing flavours of ripe, juicy nashi pears and apples cleanly checked by a soft acidity that reveals a hint of tang at the finish. If anything, like many Australian gris, you could question its outright clarity or possible blandness (speaking pessimistically), but happily, this one has more than enough going on with its other attributes to rise from the pack, whilst within its own context, there's not a hair out of place such is its balance. It's a good gris with textural focus at its core.
ü Gris lovers (or cafe owners) should really go for Climbing's clean, rich, smartly textured and measured 2011. A bit more length and cut and I might've found myself a real revelation too. It's well made from a challenging year. Drink to 2013.