I Think This Might Be B.C.’s Best Pinot Gris Pt. 2: The Chablis Edition

Drink great wine and look like a baller at the same time

Quails’ Gate The Bench Pinot Gris 2018 $25

Last week I prattled on about finally coming across a Pinot Gris that I thought was worthy of adulation—the luxurious Blue Mountain Reserve. Given my long-standing indifference to the popular grape I felt like I was dealing with a bit of a unicorn wine, but lo and behold around the corner comes a different wine—this one from Quails’ Gate—that takes an entirely different path to Pinot Gris greatness.

If the Blue Mountain was all elegant creaminess, this one, from Quail’s Gate’s Reserve and Exclusive range, channels a much more austere and restrained path—think a bowl of crisp green apples that have been drizzled with fresh ruby red grapefruit. It has a beguiling mix of tart sweet and ripe that is wonderfully in sync. And it has that hint of the elusive minerality that calls to mind good Chablis in spirit if not in flavour profile. It’s a wonderful wine.

But here’s the kicker—if you had asked me how much it was I would have ventured in the $35-40 range. That’s not just because it’s well-made, but because the other wines that share the more exclusive label design that this has and also get their own names (“The Bench”) are really pricey. The Boswell Syrah checks in at $70 and The Connemara Red Blend is $94 (and there’s a 6 bottle limit!). But this wine is just $25, which is crazy. Seriously crazy. You roll into a backyard BBQ with two bottles of this under each arm and most BC wine lovers will think you’re rolling like J. Paul Getty…if ol’ J. Paul also knew his vino. Be that guy.