“Excellent Pinot Grigio” may seem like an oxymoron to most; this ubiquitous wine is often criticized as being neutral, characterless and simply uninteresting. Yet in the hands of Elena Walch, a top producer in Italy’s northeastern Alto Adige region, Pinot Grigio is capable of greatness. Even better, both of her bottlings are under $25 and are easily enjoyed throughout the summer and beyond.
Walch is offering two PGs:
Elena Walch Pinot Grigio ($17) with distinct aromas of ripe pear, sage and white pepper with a mineral richness on the finish.
Elena Walch Pinot Grigio Castel Ringberg ($23), produced in the largest single vineyard in the region. It’s more concentrated and fuller-bodied, with with zippy acidity.
Hey, I’ll bite. But imagine if an American winemaker used the same selling tactic: “Most Sauvignon Blancs really blow, but Merry Edwards makes one that doesn’t.”
… Back in the day, wine retailers couldn’t give rosé away. Spooked by the memory of white zinfandel, most American consumers associated its rosy color with cheap, sweet plonk and didn’t understand the joys of this bone-dry summer wine with bracing minerality.
How times have changed. Every winery in California, it seems, is offering a rosé these days. Some, like Martinelli, are bucking tradition and opting for non-Rhone varietals. Here’s the announcement about its new rosé:
“We are very excited to announce the release of our 2014 Rosé of Pinot Noir! The nose offers vibrant watermelon, lemon rind, and red cherry with a touch of Provençal herbs. The flavors are pomegranate and tart red apple in the core with a palate-cleansing acidity, finishing with notes of citrus and wild strawberry. Drink this through summer, and save a few to serve with Thanksgiving turkey. This wine is extremely limited and priced at $25 per bottle.”
… And speaking of rosé, Provence’s Château d’Esclans is rebranding its namesake wine, Château d’Esclans. Owner Sacha Alexis Lichine has given the estate-bottled rosé a new name: Rock Angel. It will debut with a redesigned label on the upcoming 2014 vintage release beginning June 2015.
Here’s what the winery says: “Transparent pale in color, the rosé has a delicate red berry aroma on the nose. On the palate, it has mineral and floral notes with a touch of spice; complemented by a long, dry finish.”
Rock Angel will be available starting June 2015 in select markets throughout the United States. SRP is $35 for a 750ml bottle. For more information, visit the website.