I don't know why but we're blogging about Pinot Grigio...again! Actually I found an old Lettie Teague WSJ wine article on the subject and just like always, I became inspired. In the article Teague is on a quest for "Pinot Grigio with personality."
Teague acknowledges that there will always be watery ten dollar pinot because there always has been. It has its place. Just like cheap beer. In our previous post we said its way too easy to move up the price scale with Pinot Grigio since there isn't an extreme change in character between the cheap stuff and the twenty dollar bottles. Let's call it a continuum of sorts in what pinot lovers have come to expect flavor-wise. Teague cites current great pinot wine maker, Elena Walch - all you have to do is raise your expectations.
There are differing flavor profiles from the better pinots though. The best pinot comes from northeastern corner of Italy and Alto Adige on the northern side of the corner may be the best. Those are characterized by an aromatic minerality. On the eastern side of the corner lies Friuli which offers rich complexity. Between them and to the south is Veneto which always over-performs with a fruity standard style, which unfortunately seems destined to always be overshadowed by the other two.
Then there's Alsace. An entirely different animal. And why is it that nationalities seem to dictate wine styles? Italian wines always seem to taste Italian. French wines always taste French. And Alsatian wines always taste French/German. Anyway, Alsatian pinot is fruity and minerally yet not as winy as the Italian. Obviously, each is better suited to the cuisine of their respective places.
Please join us after 5pm on Thursday the 28th when Morgan Miller offers us a tasting from his fine California portfolio. David Hobbs presents California wines on the 4th of April and then on the 11th Dominique Chambon offers us a tasting of French and Italian wines.