Plonk is the word that comes to mind when you think pinot grigio. The early pinot grigios were the banal mass produced wines and the memory lingers. But today I had the chance to attend a seminar a the Biltmore Hotel in Miami called “Great Whites of Italy” and I saw pinot grigio in a completely different perspective.
The tasting was another in the series of Simply Italian Great Wines sponsored by the Italian government and organized by IEEM. Among the 10 white wines we tasted were 4 pinot grigios and one pinot grigio blend- and they were outstanding. They
showed a depth of texture and acid backbone normally associated with superbly made white wines. In addition to these wines, we also tasted some other new wave Italian whites, all of which deserve to be found in your local market.
The easiest to find will be the ones with decent production, such as the San Angelo Pinot Grigio Toscana IGT 2010 by Castello Banfi; the Contessa Manci Trentino DOC 2010 by Concilio or my favorite the Pitars “Braida Santa Cecilia” Friuli Grave DOC 2010 which at $15 retail makes it a wonderful find for a truly outstanding wine with an explosion of fruit.
There were also some outstanding wines made with the Friulano grape, formerly called Tocai. My favorite was Tai di Castelcosa IGT Delle Venezie 2007 by Furlan but at an annual production of 3000 bottles it will be difficult to find.