Murdoch James is owned by Roger Fraser and his son, Carl. The winery is named after Roger's father, Murdoch James Fraser. The vineyard is at the southern tip of the North Island of New Zealand, a country that has exploded with fame over the last 30 years over one grape: Sauvignon Blanc.
Yet, as we look back on the white wines we've featured over the last 20 years or so, one grape stands out above all others: Pinot Gris. Of course, we love the Sauvignon Blancs, but the Pinot Gris tend to be other-worldly.
Pinot Gris is also known as Pinot Grigio in Italy, where it grows voluminously over the entire country. Most of the wines are good and a few stand out. Pinot Gris from Alsace, France, is often considered the grape's ultimate form. There, it accounts for some of the greatest white wines in the world.
New Zealand's Pinot Gris comes very close. At its best, the soil and climate form a perfect alliance to bring out all the complex flavors this grape has to offer. Our selection is a stunning example of a wine that reaches heights some might only expect from an Alsace Pinot Gris.
From the pale, almost greenish rim to the bright center, it shines and sparkles in your glass. The aromas of nectarine and orange blossom gently rise to your nose, and are then realized with a powerful presence on the palate. The flavors explode, depositing layer upon layer of quince, passion fruit and a touch of lemon zest on the tongue, all the way to its formidable finish.