The 2011 Pedigris Pinot Gris is a $5.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive, 100% Pinot Gris sourced from vineyards in Columbia Valley, Washington. The wine is made for Trader Joe’s by The Ranch Winery (the parent company is Wine Trees), a custom winemaking facility in St. Helena, California. You tell them what you want and at what price, and they go out and buy the grapes from trade sources or on the open market and do the whole process from crushing the grapes, fermenting the wine, to bottling and coming up with a label. The alcohol content is 13%.
The color is crystal clear pineapple juice yellow. The nose is subtle and nicely complicated, pineapple, orange blossom honey, rose pedal, faint lime, pear and grapefruit. This Pinot Gris has a substantial mouthfeel, it tastes of a mix of stone fruit and citrus with a dash of minerality. The flavors start off subdued, but grow in intensity as you reach the mid palate. The mid palate adds some melon and Anjou pear, along with a bracing slap of acidity. Some of the more expensive Pinot Grigio/Gris from Italy give a blast of acidity from the beginning to the end, the Pedigris kindly waits until the tailend to give you that jolt of acidity. The finish is the citrus along with the minerality and it softly lingers on for a good amount of time.
The 2010 Pedigris Pinot Gris is a fine, “no issues”. 6 buck Pinot Gris. It is a dry wine, with subtle and dare I say complex flavors, with far more balanced acidity than the $18 Pinot Grigio everybody seems to buy. This is a six buck food wine, the flavors are subtle (and won’t get in the way), but the sturdy minerality and acidity would make this a fine choice to bring to an Asian or Spanish BYOB. Five years ago, you would never, ever believe that a $5.99 wine could be this good of a drink.