Pinot Grigio, or Gris, may not be the most planted white wine grape but it is one of the most recognized. The grape can be used to produce high-end stunning wines but its true genius comes for being responsible for some of the most affordable and quaffable wines that are blissfully simple. The anti-Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio almost never sees oak and delivers crisp bracing acidity and ranges from steely, sharp minerality, to lush tropical and stone fruit flavors.
Originally hailing from Italy, Pinot Grigio has expanded across the globe thriving under a variety of conditions and pushing the boundaries of what can be created with this grape. Below you will find options from its homeland as well European expansions into Germany and Romania as well as delicious expressions produced stateside including a killer box Pinot Grigio from California all for under $15.
Foris 2018 Pinot Gris (Rogue Valley); $14, 92 points. There isn’t another estate-based winery in Oregon that delivers such excellent wines at these prices. This textural, mineral-drenched wine hints at honeysuckle, lemongrass and fresh spring herbs. The fruit centers on white peach and peppery daikon radish. The balance, harmony, texture and length are impressive. Best Buy. —Paul Gregutt
Alois Lageder 2019 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $11, 90 points. Crisp, clean and linear, this snappy, savory white features white-spring-flower, ripe pear and lemon-zest sensations. Bright acidity and tangy saline notes give it a racy edge and a pristine finish. Dalla Terra Winery Direct. Best Buy. —Kerin O’Keefe
Chemistry 2018 Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley); $14, 89 points. This all-stainless effort is fruit-powered and loaded with fresh flavors of apple and peach. It shows depth of concentration and texture, making it a fine example of Oregon Pinot Gris. Best Buy. —P.G.
Noble Vines 2019 152 Pinot Grigio (Monterey County); $13, 89 points. Candied green apple, honeydew and hints of jasmine show on the nose of this bottling. The palate offers green touches of cut lawn and Granny Smith apple, but there is also a riper hint of red apple. Best Buy. —Matt Kettmann
Villa Wolf 2018 Pinot Gris (Pfalz); $12, 89 points. Crisp notes of white grape and blossom perfume mouthwatering grapefruit and pear on the palate of this vibrant Pinot Gris. Dry and unoaked with a transparent fruit quality, it’s a spry, thirst-quenching crowd-pleaser. Drink now. Loosen Bros. USA. Best Buy. —Anna Lee C. Iijima
Willm 2018 Réserve Pinot Gris (Alsace); $14, 89 points. Only faint hints of pear show on the closed nose of this wine. The palate, however, presents generous, ripe yellow-pear notes. A vein of freshness adds juiciness and a hint of almond spice. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd. Best Buy. —Anne Krebiehl
Beauty in Chaos 2018 Pinot Grigio (Washington); $13, 88 points. The aromas are pleasing, with notes of pear, crushed flower and apple. Dry, even flavors follow. A lovely sense of acidity ties it together. Best Buy. —Sean P. Sullivan
Kirkland Signature 2019 Pinot Grigio (California); $13, 88 points. Don’t be put off by the box format. Floral aromas and ripe melon and citrus flavors dominate this enjoyable, medium- to full-bodied wine. It feels nicely round and mouthfilling in texture. Best Buy. —Jim Gordon
Marisco Vineyards 2019 The Ned Pinot Gris (Marlborough); $14, 88 points. This pale blush-colored Pinot Gris is a ripe, perfumed drop, dripping with cooked pears and melon, honeysuckle and baking spices. There’s some residual sugar on the palate, just enough to emphasize the fruit and creamy texture, but not enough to overpower the bright, lifted acidity. Vinovia Wine Group/Marisco Vineyards USA. Best Buy. —Christina Pickard
Mezzacorona 2019 Estate Bottled Pinot Grigio (Trentino); $11, 88 points. One of the best value whites coming out of Italy, this enjoyable wine has aromas of spring blossom and white stone fruit. Crisp and savory, the fresh palate offers yellow pear and juicy citrus before a hint of white almond signals the close. Prestige Wine Imports Corp. Best Buy. —K.O.
Cramele Recas 2019 Legendary Estate Series Pinot Grigio (Transylvania); $9, 87 point. Aromas of white peach and citrus blossom lead to flavors of apricot, yellow peach and apple in the palate. It has good mouthfeel and the finish is soft and fruity. Tri-Vin Imports. Best Buy. —Jeff Jenssen
Yellow Tail 2019 Pinot Grigio (South Eastern Australia); $8, 87 points. This is an fruity Pinot Grigio that leads with lime, pineapple rind, lychee and honeysuckle. It’s a little on the candied, synthetic side, but plenty will find it appealing. Acidity on the palate is crisp and bright, buoying a creamy, fruity mouthfeel. A bitter rind note shows on the finish. Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits. Best Buy. —Christina Pickard