Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Pinot Grigio That Is Actually A Bargain

People sometimes don’t think that wine importers are very important, that all they do is have crates of wine shipped in from who-knows-where to be peddled on the shelves in the lower reaches.  The best importers are those with a nose for wine, who can sniff out good stuff through endless trials, then bring the pleasure to us.  Great importers like Kermit Lynch and Terry Theise - are as important and as recognizable as great producers.  Mack and Schühle are Miami-based importers who find great wine and pass it along at a price that is more than fair.  Founded in 1939, the company expanded to the Miami office eight years ago.  They produce wine in Italy and Spain and distribute other wines globally.

Barone Montalto Pinot Grigio 2019 carries the designation of Terre Siciliane IGT, which means the grapes were grown in the clay soil of Sicily.  It is a full varietal wine, all Pinot Grigio, with restrained alcohol at 12.5% and a price tag of $12.  We tend to think of that price point as "bargain wine," but often the quality is poor enough to nullify the concept.  If the wine is no good, is it really a bargain?  This wine is a true bargain.

My experience with Pinot Grigio - and Pinot Gris - leaves me flat, really.  PG is not my favorite grape, by a long shot.  It is so seldom captured in all its savory beauty, more often drenched in a floral sweetness and hung with a sameness that reaches from brand to brand.

This wine is drier than your typical - or at least my typical - Pinot Grigio.  Almost the color of water, the nose shows the usual suspects: flowers and limes and rocks, oh my.  The accent on minerality is a nice flourish, particularly in this grape.  On the palate, the floral angle plays a tad stronger, with citrus in tow.  That Sicilian salinity makes itself known throughout.

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