What We’re Drinking: 2016 Cantina Riff Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie IGT

An amazing take on pinot grigio: not typical at all, and wonderful in a unique way. I don’t always agree with the choices made by the famed Alois Lageder production team – but here I definitely come down on their side. They source the grapes for this wine from limestone areas in Northern Italy that were part of an ancient sea bed, from the Dolomite Mountains to Lake Garda to Friuli. “Riff” in the title refers to “reef” from the former sea bed here. The wine has big minerality, with stone fruit exploding on the palate, and a sliver of candied lemon on the end palate and finish. Much rounder than most of the crisp-thin pinot grigio we get in the US today; more like some of the mouth-filling pinot gris I had in New Zealand earlier this year.

Sip as aperitif or pair with light appetizers.


WHO: Cantina Riff by Alois Legeder
WHAT: 100% pinot grigio
WHERE: Veneto, Italy
HOW MUCH: around $10 (media sample)