Friday, April 1, 2011

Cavit Pinot Grigio - Part 2

Did I say I'm not much of a Pinot Grigio fan? It's true. My tastes in whites tend to run towards the chardonnays and the sauvignon blanc. But the appearance of a Cavit ad on my blog inspired me to give the under-appreciated Pinot Grigio another sip, or two. Cavit bills themselves as the number one Italian wine in America, and who am I to dispute that? (I'm not a numbers person.) Their slogan is "Elevating Life", no doubt a reference to their location in northern Italy, scandalously close to the Dolomite Alps. But the Pinot Grigio grape is founded in the soil of the Alsace region in France, where it is generally known as "Pinot Gris". The crisp white wine grew in popularity quickly, and before you could say, "ciao bella", it jumped the mountains and the border, and spread to Italy, where it flourishes today. Cavit has 50 years of winemaking tradition within the confines of their vineyard. By U.S. standards, that's a decent amount of time to have been making wine. Their grapes come from Trentino's Adige River Valley. One unique quality about the Cavit Pinot Grigio is their use of 100% Pinot Grigio grapes. Intuitively you might think, "well, what else would you put in a Pinot Grigio?" But actually, many vineyards blend the Pinot Grigio grapes with a variety of other whites to generate a complex wine. Cavit ferments their Pinot Grigio in thermo-conditioned tanks in an effort to preserve the freshness of the wine. After tasting their wine this evening, I would say they have achieved their goal here. The 2009 Pinot Grigio (PG hereafter) I sipped this evening had a very light, fresh taste. Cavit recommends serving it ice cold (ok, they used the more acceptable phrase "well-chilled"). But on this chilly day in NE Ohio, I appreciated the complexity of its flavor even more after it "relaxed" for about a half-hour on my kitchen counter. It has a crisp, light character, a pale gold straw color, and a light essence of pear, citrus and acid. All the elements combined to leave you with a soft, generous and well-balanced white with a nice finish. Though I have not been a fan in the past, I will definitely try this again. Perhaps it will become a staple in my wine cellar.

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