I just finished a trade magazine story about pinot grigio, detailing what people are drinking, why they’re drinking it, and what’s in the grape’s future. One of the editor’s instructions: Make sure to include the J pinot gris in the story.
It’s easy to see why. The J ($15, sample, 13.8%) is one of the great wine success stories of the past five or six years – a very well made, reasonably priced wine that does exactly what it is supposed to do.
Pinot grigio and pinot gris are the same grape; the difference in name points to a difference in style. Pinot grigios, mostly Italian, have little fruit and a minerally finish, while pinot gris, like those from Alsace and Oregon, are fruitier.
The J is somewhere in the middle. Look for some lime fruit in the front and a peach pit sort of finish, but there is more to the wine than a wine writer's description. This is not a simple, full fruit ahead wine. Rather, it’s about as long and elegant as a wine at this price gets, one that you sip and and then, suddenly, notice that the bottle is empty.
Serve chilled, on its own or with summer food (and especially if your air conditioning goes out just as the Texas summer is beginning). Highly recommended.