Montalto Pinot Grigio

January 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

Price: $11.492015/01/img_0719.jpg

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

Appellation: Sicily

Available: BC Liquor Stores, Everything Wine

Buy Online: Everything Wine

Alcohol: 13.2%

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2015/01/img_0719-0.jpg

Monte Nobile 2013 Nero D’Avola

January 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 7.4 – Good Drop2015/01/img_0715.jpg

Price: $14.99

I rated this at the top end of Good Drop because it was a toss up whether it hit the Over Delivers category or not. Finally I came to the conclusion that at $13.99 this would be in the Over Deliver category for sure; at $14.99 it’s a pretty damn Good Drop.

Tasting Notes Sipping: This is blackberry pie on the nose and in the mouth. The aromas betray the wines origins. Blackberry, blueberry and savoury spices on the nose, while the palate shows some good weight, and a little grip. Flavours of blackberry, raspberry, savoury spices and custard/pastry (hence the Blackberry pie reference). The finish is short to medium and is a showcase for the fruit and the tannin.

Tasting Notes with Food: I had this with baked chicken leg and thigh that was seasoned with a touch of salt, pepper and thyme. On the side was rice with butter and parmesan, spinach salad with bacon, blue cheese, cranberry, olive oil & balsamic vinegar (seems like a long list, but really simple; made in a total of 40 minutes). If you love big fruit flavours coating your mouth, making it water, this wine is for you. I really enjoyed how the food made the fruit flavours pop, and the tannins worked to smooth out the texture of both the wine and the food.

Value: I have said for a long time that Nero D’Avola, like Negromaro & Primitivo, are Europe’s answer to California Zinfandel and Argentinean Malbec. If you get value from discovering new things then this wine offers great value to you. I would also content that it is worth spending a buck or two more for this wine than entry-level California Zinfandel, or if I were having a steak, from $12 Argentinean Malbec. As for saving, I would choose this over Dancing Bull Zinfandel or Apothic Red any day of the week, and pocket the $2 for something great like a good pretzel or shot of espresso.

Added Value: The wine really shines with BBQ. Whether it BBQ brisket or pulled pork, grilled steak or chicken this is a winner. I would also serve this to the Foodies when they come over, as they are always looking for a new experience and to save a few bucks.

More To The Story: Nero D’Avola has ancient roots. The Romans used to demand the wine of the black grape from the port of D’Avola on Sicily. Previous to the Romans, the Greeks held the island. The story goes that the reason the Greeks fought so hard to keep control of Sicily, was because of the quality of the wines.

Service: Twist the cap off and let breathe for 15-20 minutes or run it through your Vinturi.

Grapes: Nero D’Avola

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: Sicily

Available: Everything Wine, BC Liquor Stores,

Buy Online: Everything Wine

Alcohol: 14%

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