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Tamas Estates Pinot Grigio 1999

Pinot Gris/Grigio from Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Only hinting at its Italian forebear, Iván Tamás Pinot Grigio transcends the mundane and recurring to attain the perfect and most enlightened expression of citrus and flint in the moderately cool climes of Monterey County. By fermenting and aging in stainless steel, the fresh tangerine, lime and grapefruit flavors are sharpened by a dry and crisp acidity. You'll find this wine makes the most of fish and fowl dishes, but be bold and try it, too, with spicy Far Eastern fare. In an effort to meet demand for this increasingly popular varietal, more acreage in Monterey County will be grafted over to Pinot Grigio. Harvesting only the best fruit from related vineyards in Monterey County and the Livermore Valley, we have created a Central Coast blend that exemplifies the best characteristics of this increasingly popular varietal.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Tamas Estates

    Ivan Tamas Wines

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    Ivan Tamas Wines, Central Coast, California
    In 1984, Iván Tamás Fuezy and Steve Mirassou left their respective companies to start Iván Tamás Winery. Having worked in the wine business for decades in a time when the industry was far more fraternal than it is now, Ivan and Steve's paths crossed often. In fact, Ivan worked with Steve at Mirassou Vineyards for a time. Thus, the partnership began with a high level of familiarity. After several years as negociants, the two partners found a home in the Livermore Valley. Today Iván Tamás is a bonded winery producing about 60,000 cases per year of eight varietals, including the "house" Chardonnay and Cabernet for the Ritz-Carlton Hotels around the world.

    Central Coast

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    The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

    Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

    While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

    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.

    SOU2469_1999 Item# 11150