Whether you call it pinot gris, as the French do, or pinot grigio, as the Italians do, this white wine is a refreshing choice to beat the summer heat. Typically, grapes for wines labeled pinot gris are harvested a bit later, resulting in wines that are fuller and richer than their grigio counterparts. But this tasting's winners proved that is not always the case. The top picks offer three great choices from three different continents.
2010 Adelsheim Pinot Gris, $15.99
The nose on this wine from one of Oregon's top properties is an intriguing mix of delicately floral clover and melon, backed by richer baked apple and spice. While sporting the pinot gris moniker, this wine is on the crisp and refreshing side of the style. It's fruit-driven, with ample Granny Smith apple, lime and melon fruit flavors that are mouth-wateringly delicious.
2010 La Lot Pinot Grigio, $12.99
The Trentino-Alto Adige region in northeast Italy borders Austria, so it is not surprising that many of the winery owners are of Germanic heritage. In this case, it is Peter Zemmer, who has made a beautifully aromatic wine colored by honeyed melon, spicy apple, peach and lime. Round and ripe in the mouth, the sweet apple flavors play against bright and balancing acidity in this surprisingly rich take on pinot grigio.
2009 Yalumba Pinot Grigio, Y Series, $11.99.
Everything this Australian winery produces is top-notch, and this wine is no exception. It's filled with bold citrus and melon aromas, along with nice touches of fresh grass, basil and mineral. Made in a lean but lovely style, the flavors are a mix of tangy stone fruit, lively citrus and gooseberry. Impeccably balanced, a touch of orange zest comes through on the finish, making this one a refreshing choice on a hot summer's day.