Au Contraire Pinot Gris 2014
The first US brand developed by the Taub family, owners of leading importer Palm Bay International, Au Contraire represents the family’s return to their roots in the California wine business. This charming French expression, Au Contraire, was used often by Palm Bay’s beloved founder David S. Taub, usually preceding an insight that took a turn from conventional wisdom. President & CEO Marc D. Taub fittingly adopted his father’s favorite saying to embody a new project that takes Palm Bay in a somewhat unexpected and exciting direction: domestic wines.
Au Contraire wines are crafted for those who aim to live life to the fullest, who revel in turning the every day ordinary into something extraordinary. Our wines celebrate the spirit of taking on any challenge in life, no matter how insurmountable it may seem. This irresistible joie de vivre is artfully embodied on each Au Contraire label with a playful illustration that turns expectations on their heads
After decades of bringing gems from around the globe to American consumers, Au Contraire from the Taub Family Vineyards selections, is the domestic portfolio designed to complement Palm Bay’s renowned import selection, and exemplify a commitment to developing outstanding wines from key California appellations.
These expressive wines from top vineyards in Russian River Valley, Carneros and the Sonoma Coast – including Dutton Ranch and Lawler Vineyard. Outstanding quality is guaranteed by legendary California enologist Tom Hinde and his experienced team of viticulturists and winemakers. Tom’s experience in California winemaking is considerable. He is involved in every aspect of the growing and winemaking process.
Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied. Plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.
Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.
Showing a unique rosy, purplish hue upon full ripeness, this “white” variety is actually born out of a mutation of Pinot Noir. The grape boasts two versions of its name, as well as two generally distinct styles. In Italy, Pinot Grigio achieves most success in the mountainous regions of Trentino and Alto Adige as well as in the neighboring Friuli—all in Italy’s northeast. France's Alsace and Oregon's Willamette Valley produce some of the world's most well-regarded Pinot Gris wine. California produces both styles with success.
Tasting Notes for Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio is a dry, white wine naturally low in acidity. Pinot Grigio wines showcase signature flavors and aromas of stone fruit, citrus, honeysuckle, pear and almond. Alsatian styles are aromatic (think rose and honey), richly textured and sometimes relatively higher in alcohol compared to their Italian counterpart. As Pinot Grigio in Italy, the style is often light and charming.
Perfect Food Pairings for Pinot Grigio
The viscosity of a typical Alsatian Pinot Gris allows it to fit in harmoniously with the region's rich foods like pork, charcuterie and foie gras. Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, with its citrusy freshness, works well as an aperitif wine or with seafood and subtle chicken dishes.
Sommelier Secrets for Pinot Grigio
Given the pinkish color of its berries and aromatic potential if cared for to fully ripen, the Pinot Grigio variety is actually one that is commonly used to make "orange wines." An orange wine is a white wine made in the red wine method, i.e. with fermentation on its skins. This process leads to a wine with more ephemeral aromas, complexity on the palate and a pleasant, light orange hue.