"It has been said there are only two things in life on which one can depend: death and taxes. I would venture to suggest we could add Margrain Pinot Gris to that list, with its consistent and confronting bone dry attack, ball-breaking monolithic structure and an aggressive texture which quite unabashedly demands food to go with. Of all our varietals this is the one which seems to shun the concept of vintage variation, instead consistently reflecting its zero sugar, extended lees contact and the gift of time in the bottle prior to release.
The colour, sitting somewhere between here and far away, belies the weight and impact of the wine itself. The nose is almost overpowering like a Christmas tree drizzled with frankincense. Dusky and musky, it hits the senses like a wall of rambling honeysuckle, a stack of straw bales and a thicket of Scotch Broom crackling in the heat of an East Coast beach during late summer. Sweeter notes of orange peel, dried apricot, fresh egg custard, tamarillo and elderflower emerge to add conventional appeal then lead to intriguing nuances of fennel bulb, cracked almond, fresh sage and nutmeg grated onto a hot bowl of pumpkin soup. Finally the impression of complexity is given by hints of whole prosciutto ham, olive tapenade, marmite and black pepper corn. Once in the mouth, the wine is immediately on the offensive as big guns blaze from the top of its unassailable structural cliffs. It tingles with an obvious crusty dryness and although the acidity is only mingling about, the texture itself is teeth-rattling. It has a distinctly linear feel which corrals the flavours to the centre of the tongue, only to have them slide out from underneath to show feijoa, celeriac, manuka honey with white chocolate and gooseberry gelato. While crisp and commanding in the finish, a long lingering look back will reveal myriad gustatory sensations dancing about way after the applause has died down." - Strat Canning - Winemaker