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Castello di Albola Pinot Grigio 2003

Pinot Gris/Grigio from Tuscany, Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    The color is an attractive straw yellow with green nuances. The clarity of the wine is exceptional. The delicate bouquet is unusually subtle with enticing hints of almond blossom and peach fruit. The wine is pleasantly dry and lightly structured. Like all delicate white wines, it is best consumed within a year of release.

    Because of its clean, bright flavor and personality, the wine may be consumed with pleasure throughout a meal. However, it pairs particularly well with white meats and steamed or grilled fish. In addition, it makes a fine aperitif. The wine is best served chilled at a recommended temperature range of 46-50º F.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Castello di Albola

    Castello di Albola

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    Castello di Albola, Tuscany, Italy
    Image of winery
    The Castello d'Albola estate is situated above the town of Radda, nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, in the heart of the Chianti Classico region in the province of Siena, Tuscany. Established in the 11th century, Castello d'Albola was initially owned by the Monterinaldi family. Over the centuries it was transferred to the Samminiati, Pazzi and Ginori-Conti families, and finally to the Zonin family.

    One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind.

    Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, perfect for Sangiovese as it ripens most efficiently on slopes with maximum exposure to sunlight.

    Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, the island of Elba and more inland, in Carmignano.

    Pinot Gris/Grigio

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    One grape variety with two very distinct personas, Pinot Gris in France is rich, round, and aromatic, while Pinot Grigio in Italy is simple, crisp, and refreshing. In Italy, Pinot Grigio is grown in the mountainous regions of Trentino, Friuli, and Alto Adige in the northeast. In France it reaches its apex in Alsace. Pinots both “Gris” and “Grigio” are produced successfully in Oregon's Willamette Valley as well as parts of California, and are widely planted throughout central and eastern Europe.

    In the Glass

    Pinot Gris is naturally low in acidity, so full ripeness is necessary to achieve and showcase its signature flavors and aromas of stone fruit, citrus, honeysuckle, pear, and almond skin. Alsatian styles are aromatic, richly textured and often relatively high in alcohol. As Pinot Grigio in Italy, the style is much more subdued, light, simple, and easy to drink.

    Perfect Pairings

    Alsace is renowned for its potent food–pork, foie gras, and charcuterie. With its viscous nature, Pinot Gris fits in harmoniously with these heavy hitters. Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, with its lean, crisp, citrusy freshness, works better with simple salads, a wide range of seafood, and subtle chicken dishes.

    Sommelier Secret

    Outside of France and Italy, the decision by the producer whether to label as “Gris” or “Grigio” serves as a strong indicator as to the style of wine in the bottle—the former will typically be a richer, more serious rendition while the latter will be bright, fresh, and fun.

    CDI721167_2003 Item# 77815