Familiar to lovers of Alsace wine, a bottle labelled Gentil will (traditionally) be a field blend of mainly riesling, muscat and/or gewurztraminer with the balance made up of sylvaner, chasselas and pinot blanc. The different grape varieties must be vinified separately before being blended. Yealand’s winemaker, Tamara Kelly Washington looks to have taken Gentil as her inspiration for two newly launched wines.
2014 Peter Yealands PGR is a gently aromatic wine, owing more to pinot gris than riesling or gewurztraminer, with plenty of baked pear and apple on the nose married to a soft, spicy palate. A touch of residual sugar adds weight. The 2014 Yealands Estate Single Vineyard PGR is has much the same varietal make-up but benefits from a small step up in concentration and a palate that has its sweetness balanced by a touch of grapefruit pith texture.
Purists may baulk at the idea of Yealands bottling a wine as ‘single vineyard’ when that vineyard is 1000 hectares (roughly 550 times bigger than the 1.8 hectare Romanée Conti) but I can’t help but admire the chutzpah. Priced at $16 and $23 respectively, these are a cheerful pair of wines that will surely appeal to those looking for an alternative to pinot gris.