Must-Try Wine of the Week: 2012 J Vineyards & Winery Pinot Gris

From one of the best recent California vintages, this wine is a blend of pinot gris grapes from Clarksburg, Lodi, and the Russian River Valley. The public often sees pinot gris as a simple, uninteresting wine because many of the imports are made in an industrial fashion in huge quantities. The J Vineyards Pinot Gris, which is the top-selling domestic pinot gris/grigio priced over $10, is distinctly different in that it’s crisp and articulate with some heft, depth, and interest. The wine is stainless-steel fermented and cooled slowly to preserve the freshness of the fruit. It’s bursting with aromas of tropical fruits, peach, and mandarin orange, and flavors of kiwi, lime, peach, and honey. It can be enjoyed as a sipper when entertaining friends, but its acidity and complexity also allow it to complement food rather than compete with it. Enjoy with a variety of fare, including fresh oysters or grilled shrimp topped with a tropical mango salsa. This pinot gris is bottled with a screw-top closure for easy portability.

For about $15, this outstanding value is widely available in Orange County, including at Vons and Ralphs markets, and at BevMo.