A Killer Pinot Grigio – 92 Points for under $15

Posted on Feb, 01. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

If you never expected an email offer with the subject line of this one, that makes two of us. Despite the varietal’s mass popularity and rapid growth, many wine professionals continue to look down on Pinot Grigio (until yesterday, myself included). Now, I’ve had a few by-the-glass selections in restaurants that I thought were fine, but it’s fair to say that I would never have expected to have any of this wine in my cellar (until now). Many of these considerations were echoed in an essay a few years ago by Lettie Teague, a well-known columnist with (then) Food & Wine Magazine (read it here:).

In any event, what brought us to today’s offer began with me perusing the advance-release wine reviews scheduled to be published in upcoming issues of the Wine Spectator. Much to my surprise, one of the best-rated selections highlighted in the virtual newsletter was a Pinot Grigio that scored 92 points and was quite reasonably priced. Well, I’d certainly never seen one of those before, and when I researched it further and found that it was available from a local distributor I ordered a bottle just to see what the fuss was about.

The other night Will and Michael were over tasting some wines and shooting some video (see above) and we popped the 2008 Tenuta Luisa Pinot Grigio alongside some Burgundies and other wines. To be perfectly honest, I was flabbergasted — what came out of the bottle was unquestionably the best Pinot Grigio I’ve ever tasted, and it wasn’t close. The nose burst from the glass with tropical fruit, and the palate followed through with ripe banana, coconut and creamy vanilla flavors. The mouthfeel was kind of thick and rich, but lively acidity delivered the fruit flavors like a laser beam — a fascinating combination. Nut oils emerged on the finish, not unlike a Marsanne/Rousanne from Southern France, and the flavors lingered for 30+ seconds or more. In short, this was a classy, exciting, wonderful wine of great pedigree, and an absolute joy to drink.

Some may argue that Pinot Grigio is principally a summer wine, a cheap patio quaffer for the uninitiated. Well, others once said that about rose, and we highly recommended the Mordoree Tavel Rose in the last couple of vintages that are such high quality wines that they transcend standard time/place considerations (I’m literally drinking a 2007 Mordoree Rose as I type this). This Pinot Grigio is of the same quality, a stereotype-busting tour de force that needs to tasted by anyone with even a passing interest in white wines of any type.

We give this wine our highest recommendation, in part because of the incredibly affordable price:

2008 Tenuta Luisa Pinot Grigio
Retail price before [member discount|Our members save an average of 25% off the normal retail prices. As a courtesy to the retail wine industry we do not publish our prices.] $20.00 • Buy this wine!

Do yourself a favor and stock up on this now, so that you’ll be good to go when the warm weather of Spring emerges. Because when the Wine Spectator issue with this review in it hits the newsstand in a week or two, this wine will be long gone…

Here’s the full Wine Spectator review:

Tenuta Luisa
Pinot Grigio Isonzo del Friuli Rive Alte 2008
92 points | $23 | 2,085 cases imported | White
Aromas of apple pie, with just a hint of cream caramel. Full body,
with loads of rich fruit and a pie crust and light toffee aftertaste.
Great finish. All there. Drink now.—J.S.

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