January 26, 2015 § Leave a comment
There are thousands of Pinot Grigio’s in stores these days. After tasting many they divide themselves into two groups- Marketing & Classic. The ones in the marketing group are those trying to take advantage of the popularity of the name Pinot Grigio. Those in the classic range are those that share classic Pinot Grigio aromas and flavours. The Montalto Pinot Grigio falls into the Classic group and certainly Over Delivers for the price. Having said that there are wines on the market at $13-$14 that I think are a better buy, even a Best Buy, hence why this one didn’t get the highly coveted Best Buy rating.
Tasting Notes Sipping: The colour is a light shade of pale straw, while the aromas are of citrus, hints of pear and mineral. Mineral is a positive thing and is a classic characteristic of Pinot Grigio. Think of it as that delicate hint of wet rocks you get from fresh mountain stream water… if that helps. The palate is light, fresh and crisp without being watery. Flavours of lemon and lime marry with Bartlett pear and minerality. The finish is crisp, short and refreshing.
Tasting Notes with Food: This is a sipping wine or a wine that should be paired with light foods such as salads, fruits or very mild cheeses. I love good rustic bread, specifically, traditional Boule. It comes in a round and has a thick crust that wraps itself around a bouncy, rustic bread. I had this wine with some Boule that I dipped in olive oil and a pinch of salt and it was phenomenal. I swear you can close your eyes and place yourself in Italy. The fruit flavours of the wine popped right up while the fresh, crisp acidity worked really well with the olive oil and the bread. The touch of salt and the olive oil integrated with the minerality of the wine to make it better than the sum of its parts.
Value: Definitely worth the trade up from pretenders like Barefoot, Copper Moon and such. However I would choose the Gabbiano Pinot Grigio at $13-$14 over this wine when I’m feeling a little more flush.
Added Value: This wine shines as a Crowd Pleaser or Wedding Wine as it is simply enjoyable. I would also suggest that this wine has added value for Date Nights or Girls Night Out.
More To The Story: Sicily is not normally where you find really good Pinot Grigio. However the slopes of Mt. Etna have volcanic soils and are steep enough to cool the grapes at night. As a Cork Dork there is something else in that statement that shows extra value in the wine. Typically wines in this price range are not hillside grown as harvesting can be more expensive. I’m very happy to see that the proprietors at Montalto have found a way to deliver a wine of this quality, at this price to our market.
Score: 8.6 – Over Delivers
Service: Chill down, but not too cold. You will know when it is too cold by the fact you simply get an acidic wine without a lot of fruit flavours.
Grapes: Pinot Grigio
Store Section: Italy
Available: BC Liquor Stores, Everything Wine
Buy Online: Everything Wine
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January 20, 2015 § Leave a comment
Score: 5.9 – Dead Average
This wine sits at the top end of Dead Average (high praise indeed) as it has improved from the wine flavoured water that it was a few years back.
Tasting Notes Sipping: The nose shows some lifted lime and lemon which are to be expected from Italian Pinot Grigio. The palate shows some additional flavours of peach, apple and pear. It is a clean and fresh wine, but I expect this at $14.99+.
Tasting Notes with Food: I had this wine with what my daughter calls Veal Style Chicken, which is simply substituting Chicken breast for veal in a Vitello al Limone recipe (relatively light meal). The palate became muted and only showed hints of fruit. The good news is that the acidity was up to the task which allowed my palate to remain fresh, thus the whole experience was made better.
Value: I think there are better values out there. I would trade up in price to Villa Theresa Organic Pinot Grigio at$15.99, it’s worth it. I also think a lateral move to the Gabbiano Pinot Grigio (Private Stores $14.99) is a better choice. The Montalto Pinot Grigio is not as good a wine but the $4 savings makes it a better value.
Added Value: Where this wine might offer some added value is as a Wedding Wine as the packaging is pretty damn good.
More To The Story: Pinot Grigio, until recently, was an everyday white wine commonly drank in the northern half of Italy (North of Tuscany). Following the massive move by the consumer from big rich opulent Chardonnays, Italian Pinot Grigio’s saw a huge up swing in popularity as did New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Both wines offer clean, crisp, zippy flavours and texture, but Pinot Grigio is commonly a couple of bucks less.
What happens when there is a huge upsurge in a product? There are millions of copy cats trying to tag along for the ride. As it turns out the market is now filled with pretenders, so be careful.
Service: Chill it down to close to cold and let it rip. Serve with light olive oil pastas, Tilapia and lighter chicken dishes.
Grapes: Pinot Grigio
Store Section: Italy
Appellation: Northeast (Alto Adige, Trentino, Fruili)
Available: BC Liquor Stores
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