Despite the unfortunate reputation that this grape variety has acquired for often bland, safe, uninteresting wines it can actually be made in a vast array of styles and is responsible for some incredibly rich, complex wines. Such is its versatility and structure it is recognised in Germany as one of the few Noble Varieties with fine wines being made by some of the most prestigious houses and given a price tag to match.
Established in the middle of the 18th Century, J L Wolf quickly built itself a reputation for high quality wine and managed to maintain this until a lack of direction saw it dwindle towards the end of last century. The potential to return to former glories was always there and Ernie Loosen (of Dr Loosen fame) stepped in in 1996 to revamp it. Initially he was drawn in by the opportunity to produce a more powerful style of Riesling than was at that time on the banks of the Moselle but it did not take long to realise the Pfalz region's potential to produce elegant, aromatic Pinot Gris. The Pinot Gris in this month's case presents an excellent juxtaposition to the characterless Pinot Grigios which are so common on supermarket shelves. Where these wines are generally light bodied, simple and mellow the Villa Wolf is full, intense and complex and a perfect match to aromatically spiced food. Think Thai green curry.
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