Whether you consider it a darling of the wine world, or a “basic white” for people who don’t know better, Pinot Grigio, also known as Pinot Gris, has seen its fortunes fluctuate over time. The grape has inspired headlines as varied as “Seriously, Enough With The Pinot Grigio” and “The Enemy Is Not Pinot Grigio.”
So, should you be drinking Pinot Grigio? We advocate trying a wide array of wines and styles, and caution against getting stuck in a rut of the familiar. Pinot Grigio is no different from any other wine that’s received needless backlash after outsize spikes in popularity—think Merlot, Zinfandel, Shiraz or oaked Chardonnay.
But Pinot Grigio continues to provide the backbone for fresh, accessible, quality wines at consistently affordable price points. Far from a one trick pony, the grape can create crisp and light-bodied wines with a citrus-forward profile, to rich, floral and fuller-bodied offerings.
Whether you’re a Pinot Grigio lover seeking something new, or an unabashed cynic just looking for a list to fume over, here are 10 Italian selections we believe should be in your glass.
Italian Pinot Grigio Recommendations
Abbazia di Novacella 2019 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige Valle Isarco); $20, 92 points. Aromas of green apple, pear and citrus follow over to the savory palate along with green melon, ginger and tangerine zest. It’s bright and delicious, with tangy acidity before a fresh, clean close. Abbazia di Novacella USA. Editors’ Choice. –Kerin O’Keefe
Tiefenbrunner 2019 Pinot Grigio (Vigneti delle Dolomiti); $19, 91 points. Aromas of honeysuckle, green apple and honeydew melon follow through to the juicy palate, along with a note of white peach. Tangy acidity lifts the rich flavors. LLS–Winebow. Editors’ Choice. –K.O.
Alois Lageder 2019 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $11, 90 points. Crisp, clean and linear, this snappy, savory white features white-spring-flower, ripe pear and lemon-zest sensations. Bright acidity and tangy saline notes give it a racy edge and a pristine finish. Dalla Terra Winery Direct. Best Buy. –K.O.
Elena Walch 2018 Vigna Castel Ringberg Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $27, 90 points. Subtle aromas evoking honeydew melon, white stone fruit and Alpine wild flower shape the delicate nose. Round and medium bodied, the palate offers ripe yellow pear, white almond and tangy mineral before closing on a fennel note. USA Wine West. –K.O.
Erste Neue 2019 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $23, 90 points. Green apple, elderflower and citrus aromas form the nose. The fruity sensations carry over to the medium-bodied palate along with creamy yellow pear and orange zest before a bright, tangy close. –K.O.
Infiné 1939 2018 Pinot Grigio (Trentino); $27, 90 points. Crisp and refreshing, this bright wine opens with aromas of white stone fruit, spring blossom and beeswax. On the tangy, linear palate, vibrant acidity lifts ripe yellow apple, Bartlett pear and a hint of tangy saline. Taub Family Selections. –K.O.
Nals Margreid 2018 Hill Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $19, 90 points. This structured, delicious white shows Pinot Grigio’s serious side, delivering juicy flavors of ripe yellow pear, apple, creamy peach and fennel. Tangy acidity and saline-like mineral notes and lemon thyme linger on the finish. Massanois Imports. Editors’ Choice. –K.O.
Peter Zemmer 2019 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $17, 89 points. Aromas of ripe pear and green apple carry over to the palate, along with hints of saline and bitter almond. Tangy acidity gives it a juicy finish. –K.O.
Mezzacorona 2019 Estate Bottled Pinot Grigio (Trentino); $11, 88 points. One of the best value whites coming out of Italy, this enjoyable wine has aromas of spring blossom and white stone fruit. Crisp and savory, the fresh palate offers yellow pear and juicy citrus before a hint of white almond signals the close. Prestige Wine Imports Corp. Best Buy. –K.O.
Castelfeder 2019 Mont Mès Pinot Grigio (Vigneti delle Dolomiti); $12, 87 points. This has delicate scents suggesting spring blossom and white stone fruit. On the tangy palate, fresh acidity accompanies white peach and green apple while the barest hint of almond marks the close. Bacchanal Wine Imports. Best Buy. –K.O.
Published: May 6, 2020