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Tag Archives: pinot grigio

Mini-reviews 55: The nothing really wrong with it, but … edition

winereview

Reviews of wines that don’t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another — in this case, because there’s nothing really wrong with them, but you can do better. Look for it on the final Friday of each month.

Clos du Bois Pinot Grigio 2012 ($9, purchased, 13.5%): This California white is just another pinot grigio, without any redeeming features other than that it’s cheap and inoffensive. Nothing really wrong with it, but there are lots of other wines that offer more for the price.

Haury & Schaeffer Grenache 2012 ($10, sample, 14%): French red tastes like it came from California — all fruit and not much else. Nothing really wrong with it, but not sure what the point of it is since there are already hundreds of wines just like it.

Bolla Prosecco Extra Dry NV ($12, sample, 11%): Italian sparkling wine took me back to a 1970s wedding, when the bubbly was sweetish, didn’t bubble much, and tasted a lot like 7-Up. Nothing really wrong with it, if that’s what you’re looking for — and many people are.

Reata Chardonnay 2012 ($20, sample, 14.3%): Early 2000s-style California white wine with a national forest full of oak and more alcohol than it needs, but nothing really wrong with it for people who still like that sort of thing.

Mini-reviews 54: Beaujolais Nouveau, Cousino-Macul, McManis, 14 Hands

winereview

Reviews of wines that don’t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month.

Georges Dubœuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2013 ($8, purchased, 12%): Much better this vintage — less banana and more oomph, including acidity that hasn’t been there for several years. It’s still not as grapey as it should be, but decent enough cheap wine. Good to see that this annual tradition is worth buying again.

Cousiño-Macul Cabernet Sauvignon Antiguas Reservas 2010 ($17, sample, 14%). Chilean red has more in common with California Central Coast style, meaning lots of juicy black fruit and a little herbal aroma, than  it does with many Chilean wines.

McManis Viognier 2012 ($12, purchased, 13.5%): Oily, very fruity (peaches?), and a little bitter on the back — decent enough, but not near the quality of the rest of McManis’ wines. California and viognier continue to be a difficult combination.

14 Hands Hot to Trot White 2010 ($10, purchased, 13%): Nowhere near the quality of the 14 Hands red blend, this Washington state effort has an unpleasant finish and is uneven and disjointed, with an odd fruitiness. Very disappointing.

 

What’s new with pinot grigo?

What's new with pinot grigo?

It’s simple in taste and cheap in price; hence the American love of pinot grigio.

Quite a lot actually, as a story I wrote for the Beverage Media trade magazine explains. This is not to say that pinot grigio itself has changed much. It remains a cheap, simple white wine preferred by women of a certain age, and the mostly Italian imports that dominate the category sell millions and millions of cases without much of an effort.

Rather, there is an on-going campaign by producers and importers to get Americans to look differently at pinot grigio, whether it’s Oregon and California pinot gris such as J, which a little more expensive and has more fruit, or Italian wines in the $12 to $15 range like Bollini and Alois Lageder.

The story’s highlights, after the jump:

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