Crisp, Refreshing, Affordable: 12 Pinot Grigios Under $15

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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.

A Six-Bottle Master Class to Pinot Grigio

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.

14 Hands Pinot Grigio
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14 Hands 2020 Pinot Grigio (Columbia Valley); $11, 88 Points. This wine hasn’t fully emerged from its shell, showing some reduction. The aromas offer notes of pear and herb. Broad feeling apple flavors follow, winnowing toward the finish. Best Buy. —Sean P. Sullivan

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Chemistry 2019 Pinot Gris
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Chemistry 2019 Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley); $14, 89 Points. This is crisp, clean and straightforward, a refreshing white wine with notes of citrus flesh and citrus rind along with green apple fruit. It was done entirely in stainless and carries its flavors confidently through a lingering finish. Best Buy. —Paul Gregutt

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Dark Horse Pinot Grigio
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Dark Horse 2020 Pinot Grigio (California); $9, 88 Points. This medium-bodied wine combines the ripeness of honeydew melon with the crispness of Pippin apples for a refreshing and satisfying expression. Good acidity nicely balances the smooth texture. Best Buy. —Jim Gordon

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Eola Hills Pinot Gris
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Eola Hills 2020 P Pinot Gris (Eola-Amity Hills); $17, 91 Points. From the winery’s classic series, this estate grown and bottled wine is fresh and crisp and true to variety. Cut pear, apple and lemon skin components combine with juicy acids for an impressively concentrated and long finish. Best Buy. —P.G.

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Giocato Pinot Grigio
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Giocato 2020 Pinot Grigio (Goriska Brda); $13, 88 Points. This wine is light straw-colored with aromas of lemon zest and apple blossom. The palate expresses flavors of melon, apple and cantaloupe. Best Buy. —Jeff Jenssen 

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Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio
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Gnarly Head 2020 Pinot Grigio (Lodi); $12, 88 Points. This pleasant, fruity and affordable wine from Delicato Family Wines blends floral accents with cheery apple, peach and lemon flavors on a medium body. Best Buy. —Jim Gordon

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Kudos Pinot Gris
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Kudos 2020 Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley); $16, 88 Points. Sharp and tight, this frames its cut pear fruit with mildly bitter green-skin flavors. Some extra breathing time will help to soften it up a bit, but the balance overall is fine. —P.G.

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Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio Dolomiti 2020
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Mezzacorona 2020 Estate Bottled Pinot Grigio (Trentino); $12, 87 Points. This enjoyable white has aromas of hawthorn and ripe white stone fruit. On the refreshing palate, bright acidity accompanies yellow pear, apple and citrusy notes. Best Buy. —Kerin O’Keefe

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Stemmari Pinot Grigio
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Stemmari 2020 Pinot Grigio (Sicilia); $10, 88 Points. Aromas of white spring blossom and ripe pear follow over to the round, medium-bodied palate along with yellow apple and tangy acidity. It closes on hints of saline and almond. Best Buy. —Kerin O’Keefe

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Sutter Home Pinot Grigio
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Sutter Home NV Pinot Grigio (California); $6, 88 Points. This sleek and fruity, medium-bodied wine offers generous Bosc pear and Pippin apple aromas followed by an equally ripe and attractive palate impression. Best Buy. —J.G.

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Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Pinot Grigio
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Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi NV Pinot Grigio (California); $7, 88 Points. Pretty aromas of lemon blossoms and Bosc pear meet nicely structured fruit flavors in this light- to medium-bodied wine. Good acidity gives it a refreshing bite on the palate. It’s an amazing bargain that gains much of its interest from small amounts of Vermentino, Colombard and Viognier blended in. #25 Top 100 Best Buy 2021. —J.G.

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Waterbrook Pinot Gris
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Waterbrook 2020 Pinot Gris (Columbia Valley); $12, 88 Points. This joyous bottle offers vibrant aromas of pineapple, kiwi and herbs. Plentiful tropical fruit flavors follow. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Best Buy. —Sean P. Sullivan

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Published on August 21, 2020
Topics: Buying Guide