2015 Jacob's Creek "Two Lands" Pinot Grigio, Tastings.com 90 Points!

Jacob's Creek calls the 2015 vintage their best in a decade and after tasting their "Two Lands" Pinot Grigio, we, on the tasting team, understand their need to celebrate.

This South Australian white opens with an aroma of green apples and pears with hints of peaches over soft chalkiness. A few minutes of air allows aromas of high-pitched lemon zest to add dimension to the nose. With 20 minutes of decanting, developing notes of banana pudding with vanilla wafers and the fleeting nuances of fruit stripe gum round out an already complex nose.

With such dimension to the nose of this wine, we had hopes that the "Two Lands" would follow through on the palate.  Initially, this Pinot Grigio delivered a burst of energetic, refreshing lemons and peaches with an impressive staying power.  Lingering for more than 40 seconds, the finish of this wine has an elegance that far exceeds its $11.98 price point. 

A unique feature of this wine is a creaminess on the palate that contrasts and yet perfectly intertwines with its acidic citrus energy.  In fact, we would describe the finish of this wine to be refreshing like lemon meringue pie (without meringue).

 2015 Jacob's Creek "Two Lands" Pinot Grigio would be ideal for redfish at the Mayflower Cafe or a summer evening on the patio. We find Tastings.com's 90 point review to be entirely fair and validating of this remarkable $11.98 value.

2014 Firesteed Pinot Grigio, Oregon, Wine Review 94

When we evaluate our wines, our process boils down to two essential elements: the nose and the palette. In our experience, wines that deliver on one aspect tend to follow through on the other. However, there are exceptions to the rule.  One of those exceptions is the Firesteed 2014 Pinot Grigio.

After the initial pour, this Pinot Grigio exuded aromas of pear and white peaches with faint scents of pineapples over a slightly honeyed chalkiness. With 25 minutes of decanting, light struck-white-flint minerality, pear blossoms, and lanolin join the initial aromas. There's even a curious and subtle whiff of soft rubber like a white eraser or beach ball.

This profoundly complex aromatic profile had us confident that we were about to depart on an equally impressive journey on the palate. Sadly, this Pinot Grigio simply did not deliver on the palate. We found the wine to be linear and dominated by tart, energetic lemon and peach flavors. 

What the wine did offer on the palate, it did so quite well, but it paled in comparison to our aroma influenced expectations.  We at Kats disagree with Wine Review's 94 point score. This wine may certainly be a 94 on the nose, but with its linear palette, we feel that a 90 would be more appropriate.

That in mind, this wine does have a place. For warm days on the patio or for those who truly enjoy dissecting the complexity of a wine's aromas and want an energetic, refreshing palate, the  2014 Firesteed Pinot Grigio may still be a fair shake at $16.98.

- Andrew Dunaway, Jimm Brumley, and Tasho Katsaboulas