Highlights of Vinitaly’s Wine Seminar on Grignolino in Miami
You may or may not have heard of Grignolino but it’s easily procured in most states and it’s worth searching out, especially if you live in a warm weather clime and like red wines. As an aside, there are about 150 grapes yet to be identified just in Campania and Sardinia, whereas Grignolino has been known for centuries but has an identity crisis.
Why? Because Grignolino looks like a rosé but it’s definitely not a rosé. Although it’s a Piedmontese wine, it has little if anything in common with its robust brothers, Barolo and Barbaresco. First, the production area is located near Alessandria, northeast of Alba. Secondly it’s much more affordable than either Barolo or Barbaresco, averaging $14/$20.
The epicenter of the best Grignolino is Monferrato Casalese. The flavor profile although light in body is rich in acidity and tannins. So it tastes very much like a red wine, but is traveling incognito as a rosé. Typical flavors are rose hips, red berries, red currants, flowers and spices.
At a recent tasting in Miami sponsored by the Vinitaly International Academy, as part of IEEM’s Simply Italian Great Wines Americas, we had the unique opportunity to taste 12 grignolinos, only 4 of which had any oak aging.
Grignolino Tasting Notes & Highlights:
Here are the wines we tasted with a few tasting notes; an asterisk means it was a favorite of mine:
- Accornero Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese Bricco del Bosco 2015 *
- Canato Marco Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese Celio 2014
- Gaudio Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese 2014
- Vini Angelini Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese Arbian 2014
- Botto Marco Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese Barba Carlin 2014
- Beccaria Davide Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese Grignò 2014 ***
- Tenuta La Tenaglia Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese 2014 – more herbal than flowery
- La Casaccia Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese Poggeto 2013- some oak
- Ca San Sebastiano Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese Osiri 2012- aged in barriques with an uncharacteristically deep red color; oak imparted a menthol quinine edge
- Casalone Piemonte Grignolino Riserva 2011- over oaked, herbal notes
- Vicara Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese 2011- aged in large vats, again quinine overtones
- Castello di Uviglie Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese San Bastiano Terre Bianche 2011 *** my favorite wine, the oak was subdued allowing the fruitiness of the grape to shine
As a trivia, our seminar leader, Ian D’Agata (who by the way is extremely knowledgeable and entertaining), gave us the probable etymology of Grignolino: from ‘grignoli’, the Italian word for pips which are in abundance in the grape.
Put Grignolino on your list of “wines to try.”