2005 Blason Pinot Grigio

Price: $8.99 @ K&L Wines imported by Premier Wine Company

What They Said:

Per K&L Wines “Giovanni Blason and his consulting enologist Andrea Rossi have turned this 37-acre property into a juggernaut of affordable quality wines. Giovanni and his wife Valentina own this winery in Gradisca d’Inzonzo, 3.75 miles from the Slovenian border and about 20 miles north of Trieste. The 2005 Blason Pinot Grigio is the best Pinot Grigio Giovanni and Andrea have made to this day. The vines are maturing, and the addition of the temperature-controlled fermentation has added a level of spice to the already wonderful fruit, with body, freshness, balance, and well… it’s just damned refreshing. Last vintage we sold our 200-case allotment in 10 weeks. This year we’ve ordered 400 cases, but with the addition of our new Hollywood location this wine won’t last long. Buy now!”

They also said this in the May 2007 newsletter,”One of our BEST VALUE wines at K&L! Simply sensational! Perfect balance of acidity and is very aromatic, loaded with pear, apple, citrus and tropical fruit in an elegant, concentrated and superbly balanced wine. This is a perfect wine to serve for Mothers’ Day.”

What I Think:

After seeing this wine pimped at me from so many different angles I had to give it a try. So when I concocted a clam sauce pasta (my first) I thought I would give it a go. White wine with white sauce seemed like a good idea. On opening this the nose seemed racy. There were hints of fruit but it was clear this wine was going to have a zing to it. On the palate there were nice citrusy notes that quickly gave way to a tight-knit acidic backbone. The wine was very light and it was most certainly crisp and refreshing. I could have imagined drinking this on a sunny patio with a burger or something of the sort. This pairing was not made in heaven. In hindsight, checking my favorite pairing site an Arneis would have been a better call. Darn, should have checked ahead of time as I have been wanting to try one of those!

On a side note, in a recent post I was lamenting my ability to pick good wines over at The Wine Club. Given that I figured I would check on how I was doing over at K&L. I bought a couple cases back in May and have so far had 7 of the 24. Three of the four reds have been a hit while only one of the whites has delivered. Much better ratios here, especially with the reds. When I buy at K&L it is usually from reading their new arrivals email or newsletter. Then I order online and pick it up in the store. Seems to work better. Not sure why I care, sometimes I like doing analysis for the sake of doing analysis.

Back to this wine, it is a good effort. I didn’t find it nearly as riveting as the folks over at K&L seemed to. I find myself likening it to the Kono Sauvignon Blanc which I would certainly prefer to this. Given that I can get that one a few bucks cheaper, I’ll be sticking to that. That said if you love Italian Pinot Grigio feel free to give this one a go.

Rating: Skip It

2005 Marcel Hugg Pinot Blanc

Price: $7.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Americal Beverage Group

What They Said:

Per the winery Found their site but nothing about this or the gewurzt there. Since I couldn’t find anyone to speak on the experts behalf you’ll have to trust me :)

What I Think:

This is a repeat buy for me as I had another bottle of this Pinot Blanc a few weeks back. I don’t have much to add to that initial review except that this one did not disappoint. It was everything I remembered it to be. This wine would be great on its own, with some cheese or seafood or even some Asian cuisine. One thing to always remember with white is not to drink it too cold, it may taste okay but it won’t be able to fully express itself. I have one friend who goes to the opposite extreme and his whites at room temperature. I know that doesn’t work for me so my general plan is to try and put it in the fridge for a half hour and then take it out 5-10 minutes before planning to drink it. No need to take my advice; check out this site for some tips of your own. Back to the wine, I have upped this one to a Bulk Buy. Here’s to enjoying it while it lasts!

Rating: Bulk Buy

2005 Marcel Hugg Pinot Blanc

Price: $7.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by American Beverage Group

What They Said:

Couldn’t find anyone to speak on the experts behalf so you’ll have to trust me…

What I Think:

An Alsatian wine at a bargain price, count me in for trying every time. Again, think this is three posts in a row, nostalgia reigns. My first birthday with my wife she took me to Fleur de Lys, Hubert Keller’s restaurant. He hails from this region and tailors some of the cuisine to pair with the wines. Ever since the Alsace makes me think of good things. This is a wine that did not disappoint that conceived notion. It had that nice soft, round fruit on top of that zippy mineral backbone that I have come to remember wines from this region for. This one will certainly be back in my cart. When I picked up this one I grabbed its sibling Gewurzt. Can’t wait to get to that one. Hope they don’t sell out before I get back…

Rating: Buy it

2002 Navarro Pinot Gris

Price: $14.00 direct from the winery

What They Said:

Refreshingly vibrant, with lovely floral aromas of creamy nectarine, with a touch of fresh grain and fennel. Crisp, dry and intense, with pear and orange fruit and a finish that fans out. – Wine Spectator, May 15, 2004.

What I Think:

So this wine has been waiting to get written up for a while and I haven’t quite known how to approach it. Sometime back while at the Navarro barbeque we decided to splurge on a couple cases of wine. Not sure how this one snuck in there. Perhaps with the weather and food it seemed like a good idea at the time. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good wine but as far as their whites go I would put it in the bottom half, granted they set the scale pretty high. It had a nice crisp taste with some soft fruits on top of a mineral backbone that lingered. It certainly wasn’t scoffed at while on the table. Just given a second chance at this price I would be grabbing their Edelzwicker and that is just because I am already stocked up on the Gewurzt.

Rating: Pricey