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Domaine Mittnacht Freres Les Petits Grains Pinot Gris 2016

Pinot Gris/Grigio from Alsace, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    A delicious dry version of Pinot Gris,with minerally acidity and flavors of candied lemon zest, white peach and slight smokiness. Medium-bodied and fresh, with a long, clean finish.

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    Domaine Mittnacht Freres

    Domaine Mittnacht Freres

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    Domaine Mittnacht Freres, France - Other regions
    A family-run estate begun in 1958, Mittnacht Freres is a domaine to watch. While relatively low on many radars (in the United States, at least), this 20-hectare estate produces spot-on, expressive, beautifully made wines from traditional Alsace varietals. Run by the conscientious Christophe Mittnacht, the domaine employs organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyard, believing that biologically complex, complete soils are essential for producing original, meaningful wines. The domaine has holdings in Grand Cru Rosacker (in which Trimbach's fabled Clos-St.-Hune is located), as well as excellent parcels between Ribeauville and Riquewihr, whose vines are the source of Mittnacht's terrific varietally labeled wines. With this kind of quality, they won't remain under the radar for long.
    Image for Alsace content section

    With its fairytale aesthetic, Germanic influence and strong emphasis on white wines, Alsace is one of France’s most unique viticultural regions. This hotly contested stretch of land running north to south on France’s northeastern border has spent much of its existence as German territory. Nestled in the rain shadow of the Vosges mountains, it is one of the driest regions of France but enjoys a long and cool growing season. Autumn humidity facilitates the development of “noble rot” for the production of late-picked sweet wines, Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles.

    The best wines of Alsace can be described as aromatic and honeyed, even when completely dry. The region’s “noble” varieties, the only ones permitted within Alsace’s 51 Grands Crus vineyards, are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris.

    Riesling is Alsace’s main specialty. In its youth, Alsatian Riesling is dry, fresh and floral, but develops complex mineral and flint character with age. Gewurztraminer is known for its signature spice and lychee aromatics, and is often utilized for late harvest wines. Pinot Gris is prized for its combination of crisp acidity and savory spice as well as ripe stone fruit flavors. Muscat, vinified dry, tastes of ripe green grapes and fresh rose petal.

    Other varieties grown here include Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Chasselas, Sylvaner and Pinot Noir—the only red grape permitted in Alsace and mainly used for sparkling rosé known as Crémant d’Alsace. Most Alsatian wines are single-varietal bottlings and unlike other French regions, are also labeled with the variety name.

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    Pinot Gris/Grigio

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    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.

    In the Glass

    Pinot Gris is naturally low in acidity but full ripeness is necessary to achieve and showcase its 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 its Italian counterparts. As Pinot Grigio in Italy, the style is often much lighter, charming and fruit driven.

    Perfect Pairings

    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 lean, crisp, citrusy freshness, works well as an aperitif wine or with seafood and subtle chicken dishes.

    Sommelier Secret

    Given the color of its berries and aromatic and characterful potential if cared for as it is allowed 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.

    SRKFMH082_2016 Item# 430751