Pinot Gris has already performed well for New Zealand growers. This 2011 Intrepid Pinot Gris with light gold colour and tiny bubbles does not looks oily. Showing on the nose is the minerality typical of the Awatere Terroir. It also gives layers of spicy pears, green apple, gentle citrus and peachy notes, developing into tones of honeyed tangarines and maybe pop-corn after 15 minutes in glass. At ABV14%, it does not give undue alcoholic warmth. The refined and textural palate is showing delicate rose blossom flavours, golden delicious and crisp, cut white stone fruit characters over a refreshing acidity and a textured spicy finish. Fruit strength is surprising good depsite the age, which is made possible by the sunny days and cold nights ripening the fruit slowly, allowing them to develop a herbaceous flavour and gooseberry taste distinctively different on finish.
On the other hand, bottle ageing adds to dimension to this Awatere Pinot Gris and is weightier than some of the Kiwi Pinot Gris for the same class that we tasted before. Only 5,000 bottles produced for 2011. 2011 Intrepid Pinot Gris won a Gold Medal from Decanter 2012