Pighin Pinot Grigio 2001
Pinot Gris/Grigio from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Pale straw-gold in color, with a delicate floral and white fruit aroma, it is characterized on the palate by a clean, vibrant fruit purity and superb acidic balance. The fresh, elegant finish is refreshing and subtle, marked by slight nuances of flowers and hazelnuts.
Azienda Fratelli Pighin was founded in 1963 when brothers Ercole, Luigi and Fernando Pighin acquired a 500-acre estate in the D.O.C. Grave-del-Friuli zone then belonging to an aristocratic Friulian family. Azienda Fratelli Pighin has enlisted technical expertise tempered by respect for tradition in the uncompromising pursuit of quality. The firm voluntarily restricts its vineyard yield to approximately 75 to 80 percent of that permitted under D.O.C. law to enhance varietal character, concentration and quality of the fruit. Adherence to estate bottling affords the highest possible degree of control over the quality and consistency of the finished wine.
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About Friuli-Venezia Giulia
(free-oo-lee veh-netz-ee-ah gwee-yee-ah)
The furthest east of the Tre-Venezie, Friuli-Venezia Giulia (usually just called Friuli) is celebrated for its zingy and zesty whites. Hugging the alps and the Austrian border, the climate here is cool and the vines are planted on the hillsides, allowing for more sun exposure. The cool temperatures of the region result in the lively acidity found in the wine. Colli Orientali del Friuli and the Collio are the most recognized regions here – they are located just on the border of Slovenia.
Successful grapes of the Friuli include Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. Then of course, there's the famed local variety, Tocai Friulano (not any relation to Tokay d'Alsace or Tokay of Hungary), which produces wine that is floral and nutty in character but light-bodied. Ribolla Gialla, another white grape making wine with the floral notes and acidity common to the region - it is a delicious alternative to the international varieties of the area. Reds are not to be forgotten, although found less often. Merlot is the most planted, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and few indigenous varieties. Most exports are white.
A little ditty about Italy...
This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass
of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.