Friday, May 31, 2013

Washington Pinot Grigio v. Alto Adige

Vincenzo Nibali stamped his Giro d' Italia victory with authority on the final mountain top finish last Saturday.  The final stages of the Giro were scheduled to test the climbing legs of the racers in the Dolomites in Northern Italy.  The only issue was a disagreement with Mother Nature.  The mountain passes were still getting snow in the last week of May!  The weather was so bad that the Friday stage was cancelled and Saturday's route had to be significantly modified.  Regardless, Nibali still demonstrated that he was the top dog in this year's grand tour of Italy.

Nibali finished his first Giro d' Italia general classification win with a flourish in the Alto Adige region. To honor his victory this week's matchup features a Washington Pinot Grigio vs an Italian Pinot Grigio from Alto Adige.

2012 Mellisoni Pinot Grigio v. 2012 Castelfeder 15 Pinot Grigio



Tale of the Tape

2012 Mellisoni Pinot Grigio

100% Pinot Grigio from the Mellisoni Estate Vineyard in the Lake Chelan AVA

Provided as a sample by Mellisoni.  Available for $35 direct from the winery













2012 Castelfeder 15 Pinot Grigio

100% Pinot Grigio from the Alto Adige DOC

Aged for 5 months in stainless steel tanks prior to bottling.

Purchased for $18.99 at Portalis. Special thanks to Rhiannon for helping me with this selection.











Round 1. First Opening

The Mellisoni Pinot Grigio has some serious swagger coming off a Double Gold in the Seattle Wine awards.  This Pinot Grigio from Washington is flashing some style with a nose featuring apple, peach, white flowers and light smoky straw tartness.  The palate is like summer in a glass with apple, melon, peaches and white fruit with some crisp acidity on a dry floral finish.

The Castelfeder is voluptuous, like a sultry Italian temptress.  This Luchador is working some unusual angles with a nose that is showing notes of smoky pear and white fruit.  The palate is curvacious and  full with apple, pear and some tartness on the slightly sweet finish.

This matchup is already proving to be a match of contrasting styles.  Mellisoni is cold, calculating and devious.  Castelfeder is sultry, distracting and voluptuous.  Both Luchadors are firing off their best shots straight out of the gate.  Mellisoni takes the first round by the slimmest of margins.

Round 2.  One hour after opening

Mellisoni is continuing to show a Ninja-like focus.  The nose is showing melon, peach and green apple with some subtle smoky overtones.  The palate is continuing to show green apple, melon, pear and white flowers.  The mean streak of acidity is still present and attacking like a Luchador flying off the top rope.

Castelfeder continues to show a round sexy style with a nose of smoky white meadow flowers.  The palate shows some smoky green apple and pears that trail into a subtle round finish.

Mellisoni takes round two with a wicked flying attack.

Round 3.  One day later

Mellisoni is still fresh in the final round.  The nose is lightly smoky with notes of pear and dry straw.  The palate is featuring apples, peaches, pears and melon with a slightly reduced acidityIf you could see this Luchador's eyes behind its mask they would certainly be steely, like a steely eyed assassin.

The Italian Luchador is showing some consistency and stamina with a nose of smoky white flowers and light melon.  The palate is lighter than the nose with melon, peaches along with lightly floral touches that round out with a sweet finish that is lightly acidic.

Mellisoni takes round three and the match!

Wrap up and overall observations

My approach to this white wine battle had to be different than the usual red wine rules of engagement.  I removed the wines from the fridge and let them sit for 30 minutes before opening and tasting for round one.  I then left them out for an hour (still in the bottle) and tasted for round two.  Finally, both Luchadors returned to the refrigerator for an overnight rest.  I then took the same approach for round three as I did for round one.

The battle was tight with both Luchadors scoring some serious points and inflicting pain on their opponent.  In the end Mellisoni went over the top with wicked Kung-Fu action that toppled the Alto Idige contender.

Both Pinot Grigios were excellent and on their A Game.  I would recommend both for summertime enjoyment.

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