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Pinot grigio or gris – what’s in a name? | David Williams

Josten & Klein Schiefer Grauburgunder, Mittelrhein, Germany 2018 (from £21,;; It’s funny to think that, just a few years back, German producers would have thought twice about using the word ‘grauburgunder’ on their labels in the UK. In the 2000s and early 2010s, German wine was still suffering from its association with Liebfraumilch, Blue Nun et al, and most British wine drinkers harboured prejudices about the sort of wine you’d find with such a Germanic-sounding moniker (even if it had nothing to do with those sweet and sickly brands). Indeed, some German producers opted to use the Italian name for the grape instead – understandable since Italian pinot grigio was among the most popular white wines around. These days, the opposite is probably true: waves of watery, not very interesting wines have turned a lot of people against Italian pinot grigio, while German wine’s reputation has been rising steadily. And, really, the style of Josten & Klein’s example, with its fleshy mouthfilling quince and mineral-freshening acidity, could not be more different from those run-of-the-mill PGs.

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