THE FATHER OF PINOT GRIGIO UNVEILS EPONYMOUS NEW PINOT GRIGIO
Taste the Difference
For decades, the Terlato family has been known for their relentless pursuit of quality, introducing Pinot Grigio to the United States and establishing the varietal as a key category. Several years ago, they decided to elevate and reinvigorate the category by producing their own distinctive, high-quality Pinot Grigio in Italy.
They wanted the wine to be estate-bottled for consistency, and to secure the fruit from an important viticultural area where the grapes are grown on low-yield hillside vines and hand-harvested. They therefore decided to produce the wine in Friuli, the powerhouse appellation of Italian white wines. After dozens of blind tastings over the course of several years, tasting three consecutive vintages of Pinot Grigio from various producers to determine consistency and taste profile, the Terlato family decided to partner with the highly regarded viticulturalists, Marco Simonit and Pierpaolo Sirch. While their homeland is in Friuli, Simonit and Sirch are consultants to numerous highly rated and prestigious producers in France, Italy, California, South Africa, and throughout the world. The result is a wine that is rich, aromatic, super clean, and full bodied with a good fruity core, lovely floral aromas, and delicate peach, almond, and green apple flavors. This carefully chosen, meticulously crafted wine stands in stark contrast to the thin, sometimes bland, Pinot Grigios produced elsewhere.
In 2014, Tony Terlato’s son, Bill, met with Marco and Pierpaolo in Italy. They finalized a partnership to produce and estate-bottled Terlato Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio with fruit from the Colli Orientali del Friuli appellation. The first wine is from the 2014 vintage and is available in New York and Illinois only during 2015. The 2015 vintage will be released in February 2016 and will be available in additional markets in the U.S. and ultimately other countries, including Italy.
The synthesis of world-renowned viticultural expertise, prudently chosen fruit, and decades of achievement within the fine wine industry, this Pinot Grigio is a pinnacle of excellence within the category. The Terlatos have a long and proven track record of success, which is evident in the following first critique of this new wine.
"Pinot Grigio with Character"
In addition to their work as importers and wine producers, Terlato Wines partners with growers in many parts of the world. Their goal is to produce premium examples of local grapes. In Italy, Friuli specifically, they have partnered with viticulturalists Marco Simonit and Pierpaolo Sirch.
Marco and Pierpaolo are regarded all over the world for their manual pruning techniques. Everything they do is keenly attuned to getting the most out of particular vineys from a specific appellation. Their understanding of sense of place - when it comes to the vines they work with - comes spilling out of their pores when you speak to them. I was lucky enough to do so over dinner one recent evening and it was eye opening. Their goals and those of Terlato are simpatico: they want to produce great wines in the best areas for the grape in question.
Marco and Pierpaolo bring their unique, globally renowned pruning expertise to the table. It's always a pleasure to spend time with those who are passionate about their work which always includes Marco and Pierpaolo.
Over dinner they both railed against the banality of most Pinot Grigio, a feeling I share, and spoke fervently about terroir varietal correctness. This new Pinot Grigio is distinct and delicious in its first vintage and will become even more refined going forward.
It is composed entirely of Pinot Grigio from Friuli. Fermentation and aging took place in stainless steel tanks. It spent approximately 7 months on the yeast. 8,000 cases were produced in this, its premier vintage. The exuberant and layered nose is loaded with tons of fresh fruit aromas. Yellow melon is of particular note; bits of toasted almond are evident as well. Yellow and green apple flavors fill the substantial palate which is precise, deep and quite profound. Minerals, lemon zest, and tiny bits of honey are in play on the lengthy finish. Good weight, firm acid, and a lovely mouthfeel all come together in this terrific Pinot Grigio. It's astounding how much bad Pinot Grigio is clogging up U.S. wine shelves. The best thing I can say about most Pinot Grigios that cross my desk is, "Yes, that appears to be white wine." That makes drinking this example from Terlato all the more enjoyable.
Here's a wonderful, well-priced example loaded with both varietal typicity and sense of place. This is a remarkably good wine that I'd recommend buying multiple bottles of. It's eminently enjoyable now but it'll age well for a number of years, so don't fret if you buy a case and don't drink through it quickly. Then again, it's so appealing, it could be gone fast.
Excerpted from a review by Gabe Sasso in the dailymeal.com.