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Wine of the Week for week ending 17 September 2006
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Forrest Estate Pinot Gris 2006
Marlborough, New Zealand

Just when you are looking for a lighter styled white wine, something not too heavy, something not too dry nor too sweet, something fruity and flavoursome without the encumbrance of oak, something that has plenty of flavour but doesnít overpower, along comes a wine that fits the bill perfectly. It's this week's Wine of the Week, the Forrest Estate Marlborough Pinot Gris 2006. From the well-hyped 2006 vintage in Marlborough, it expresses such gorgeous fruit, it's easy to see what the hype was all about.

Forrest Estate Marlborough Pinot Gris 2006 ($24.95) is appealing from the outset with its earthy, pear drop and lemon aroma and bright fruit flavour reminiscent of fresh fruit salad made with peach, pear, red apple, pineapple and strawberry with a squeeze of orange. Light in colour and medium in style with a mouthfilling juiciness and a soft, slightly oily texture that makes it slips down so easily, the tasty fresh finish, that also hints of honeysuckle and musk, leaves a rather sensuous aftertaste. This is Pinot Gris that I love, that my teenage nieces would love and that their grandmother would love. It's a wine to suit all ages and that's because itís a wine that's all about fruit without any wine making trickery.

It's delicious all on its own but the vinous sweetness makes it a perfect wine to counteract the chilli heat of light to medium spiced Thai cuisine while it also tastes good with a spicy soy marinated roasted quarter of chicken. However avoid foods with fruity sauces as during the three nights I matched it to food, one of the matches was pork cooked with apricot and fennel and unfortunately this was a clash rather than a complement.

Winemaker John Forrest has been on a bit of a high-flying ride of late. He recently released his John Forrest Collection, a premium tier collection of seven wines including a yet-to-be released Chardonnay, and although they retail at around $50 each, regardless of variety, they have received much critical acclaim. I tasted the wines at a First Glass Wednesday tasting in July and you can read my notes of these wines here.

Then in the annual Tri Nations Wine Challenge, where New Zealand, Australian and South African wines compete against each at the same time the rugby teams of these three nations are having their annual tri nations competition, John Forrest had more success. He won the Cabernet Sauvignon class with the John Forrest Collection Cornerstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 and the Dessert Wines class with the John Forrest Collection Noble Riesling 2005.

I've been a long time fan of the Forrest Estate Dry Riesling 2002, drinking beautifully now and a relative bargain at the $17.95 price and I am always seduced by those gorgeous stickies. As for the Newton Forrest Cornerstone reds from Hawkes Bay, all the wines produced from the vintage of 2002 are absolutely stellar.

Now Forrest Estate Marlborough Pinot Gris 2006 is up there with my Forrest favourites. It's sealed with a screwcap, naturally, carries a recommended retail price of $24.95 and should be widely available.

Find out more from the Forrest Estate web page.

© Sue Courtney
10 September 2006

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