Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Alois Lageder Riff Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, 2006

This wine comes from Dolomites, the foothills of the Alps in northeastern Italy. Riff is German for "reef" and refers to the vineyard's geologic origin, once the bottom of an ancient sea. The soil, as a result, is high in limestone like that of Chablis and some of the Loire Valley in France.

Riff Pinot Grigio is a medium straw yellow color, and the wine looks more viscous than other PGs from northeastern Italy, such as MezzaCorona. One taste confirms that it is indeed full bodied and richly flavored. Aromas and flavors include pears, flowers, earth and lime. This limey quality is definitely distinct from the French-oak influenced lime notes of the Edna Valley Chardonnay below. Whereas the Chardonnay has the acid zing of a freshly cut lime, this Pinot Grigio has more of a mineral, earthy quality, presumably from the soil.

Priced at under $10, this is a good alternative to MezzaCorona for meals requiring a bit more richness in texture and flavor.

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