Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio 2012

According to the Wine Institute and store shelves where I shop for wines, the popularity of Pinot Grigio has risen in recent years.  In an online article the Wine Institute states, “The acreage in California was reported at 2,692 in the year 2000 and has more than quadrupled in less than a decade to 12,907 acres in 2010 according to the most recent California Grape Acreage Report.”  Well, the folks at Gnarly Head are doing their part.  And doing it pretty well, too, I’d say.

Vineyard:  Gnarly Head
Varietal:  Pinot Grigio
Vintage:  2012
Appellation:  California
Price:  $13.99

Notes:  In the glass this wine was a very pale yellow.  The bouquet was so light I just barely caught fleeting whiffs of pear, apple and citrus.  The flavors, on the other hand, were present on the palate – including apple, pear and nectarine with touches of lemon, some honeysuckle notes, and grass on the end.  The finish is quite long: as the grass abates, citrus lingers.  As expected of a Pinot Grigio, the wine was fairly light-bodied but had a detectable viscosity.  Acidity was fine, and alcohol is at 13%.  This offering from Gnarly Head should pair nicely with most seafood dishes.

Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.

Gnarly Head Chard 2009

I have been sipping quite a few reds in recent days, so I decided to mix it up and chose a Chardonnay this go-round.  Here is yet another label I’ve seen in stores but haven’t popped the cork on previously.  One of my local merchants recommended the Gnarly Head Zin over the holidays when I was looking for a specific wine she didn’t have, but I went a different direction then.  I’ll have to come back to that at some point.  In the meantime, here’s what I found in one of the Gnarly Head whites.

Winemaker:  Gnarly Head
Wine: Chard
Varietal:  Chardonnay
Vintage: 2009
Appellation:  California
Price: $8.99

Notes:  This was the very last of the ’09 on the shelf at the store.  It was sitting right next to and in front of a slew of 2010s.  Given that this one has a name “Chard” and the 2010 is just labeled as Chardonnay, I was intrigued.  It’s odd: the flavor profile of this Chardonnay is on the heavier side, but the flavor intensity and the wine aren’t.  I found ripe pineapple, citrus and toasty oak on the nose leading to flavors of ripe pineapple, toasty oak, lemon, guava and citrus zest on the finish.  Color in the glass is light yellow to the eye, viscocity is modest, and acidity is a little under bright.  Alcohol, on the other hand, is a little higher than the average Chardonnay at 14% ABV.

Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.