Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2007 Mirassou Pinot Grigio

Terry post:

Another in a series of good/great wines which can be found in restaurants for less than $30.

Okay. You may ask what is the difference between Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Gris? The answer is, “virtually nothing”. They are essentially the same grape but the names vary based upon where in the world you find yourself. In the U.S. the grape is called Pinot Grigio. I am not sure about which nation calls it which other than Italy where it is typically known as Pinot Gris.

Many Pinot Grigio’s have“issues” when served with food:
1) Lacking sufficient structure to stand up to foods. A typical situation is a wine which has a subtle floral or citrus nose and nothing else. This issue is common for many of the Italian Pinot Gris which I have tasted. Or,

2) Overwhelming floral nose and too much residual sweetness. Wines like this don’t complement the meal – they overwhelm the meal. This issue, in particular, is far too common with American Pinot Grigio.

They are generally fine summertime wines suitable for sipping poolside.

We carried the Mirassou brand on-and-off over the years I was Wine Director at Restaurant 213. We never committed deeply to the brand due to the inconsistency of their products: quite a few “hits” and a few too many “misses” to be perpetually listed. With this wine they hit a homerun and I recommend it without reservation.

My impressions: Multi-dimensional, food-friendly Pinot Grigio with the guts to be more than a summertime picnic wine. Very dry and hugely acidic (a good thing) for a Pinot Grigio while retaining the typical citrus and spice characteristics on the nose and finish. I would not avoid it poolside, but it is so superior to most of its type that it would be a shame not to take advantage of its food-friendly traits.

I paired a bottle with a Pork Calvados (pork filet medallions in a veal reduction) entrĂ©e and it held its own quite nicely – though I would not push it any further. I think it is perfectly suited to complement fish (grilled, fried or in a broth-based soup), fresh cheeses or fresh fruit.

We carried this wine at $27 per bottle (restaurant price) making it a very good value. It is widely distributed with over 50,000 cases produced so you should not have any problem finding it at your local wine shop or grocery store.

~ Terry

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