In most growing areas, Pinot Blanc tends to be more of a workhorse grape than a superstar. It pops up across much of Europe (called Pinot Bianco or Weissburgunder in some countries) and makes clean, bright wines with nice acidity if not a lot of intensity or aromatics. The term 'quiet' gets applied to their wines with some frequency, sort of a damning with faint praise. In the right hands, with a bit of love and extra labor, it can make wine that rivals its more famous vineyard mates of Riesling and Pinot Gris. One producer we have, Cantina Terlano from the Alto Adige in Italy, makes some of the very best versions of the grape, so our standard here is high, and we have to say this is probably the best domestic version we have had the chance to taste. The big necessity with Pinot Blanc is to give it time to age on the skins and pulp, as well as bottling it with minimal filtration to eek out every last bit of flavor and texture the grape has to give. It takes time, and for most basic wines it may not be worth the effort, but here the rewards are oh so worthwhile. Light gold in the glass with a cool minerality to the nose with some white almond notes, and some surprisingly pretty floral and white peach showing as it opens up. Those 'quiet' characteristics are definitely getting louder here. The palate has wonderful texture, juicy and racy at the same time with lots of quince and peach pulp and a light dose of skin tannin to the dry and crystal clean finish. At its best with lighter white fish/river fish dishes, but that sur lie texture can definitely help it hold its own versus pork or poultry dishes that aren't too aggressively spiced.
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The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!