Friday, December 9, 2016

Pinot Grigio You Can Really Love

Alto Adige Valley is where some of the best white wines in the world come from, if you ask me. I realize that you didn't, but it's my article so I'll continue.

While Alto Adige holds a very high place of esteem for me, Pinot Grigio does not. I have no major problem with the grape, I just don't happen to find the wine made from it to be terribly interesting. I don't "heart" Pinot Grigio. Usually.

The Giovanett family runs the Castelfeder Winery as they have for four generations now. The area is in the Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT, which also encroaches a bit on Veneto. But it is mainly in Alto Adige, in far northern part of Italy, in the shadow of the Alps.

Their vines in the hillside vineyards have to work harder for water, which means they produce grapes that are more concentrated in aroma and flavor. They grow there in the north, under the Alpine sun and under the naked moon. The Luna Nuda tips the hat to the lunar influence on growing things.

Luna Nuda Pinot Grigio 2015 is fermented all in steel tanks and reaches a 12.5% abv alcohol content. The winemaker notes say, "This is not your standard Pinot Grigio" which means it may actually have some interesting qualities, if you can take a little more Pinot Grigio-inspired snark. Insert smiley face emoticon here. The website claims that the wine tastes "the way Pinot Grigio used to taste before it became so popular." That statement probably lost something in the translation from Italian, but I get their drift.

This Pinot Grigio is, in fact, "not your standard" stuff. The pale golden wine is aromatic enough, with a floral sensibility and a prominent overlay of minerals. A smoky character clouds those flowers and a basket of limes joins the aroma of wet rocks. The palate is pretty exciting, and I don’t have to qualify that statement with "for a Pinot Grigio." It’s loaded with lemon and lime zest and strident acidity with a delicious salinity on the finish.


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