Over the last couple of years it seems like Pinot Girgio is finally making it's move in the New World. In California especially, more and more wineries are producing them. As with most things the more that attempt it, the better the odds someone will get it right. Terlato Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio was sourced in the Russian River Valley. Generally speaking grapes that do well in cooler climates thrive in the Russian River valley. As such you tend to see a lot of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from there. It seems natural that we would start seeing Pinot Grigio sourced there too.
The Terlato Pinot Grigio has lots of citrus on the nose. The first sip reveals many of those same citrus notes as well. There is also a very present acidity in this wine. The finish bristles slightly on the back of the throat revealing a bit of viscosity. Sipped on it's own, the Terlato is OK. The acidity is perhaps a bit too glaring for this wine to be as enjoyable on it's own it might be otherwise. It did much better with food, pairing well with some mild cheeses and artisan breads. It's sells for right around $18.00.
Swanson Vineyards in Oakville has been making Estate Pinot Grigio long before it was fashionable. Having had it for quite a few consecutive vintages I can say that it's been incredibly consistent. The fruit is sourced primarily from their estate vineyard in Oakville. The 2006 has a rich mouth-feel and some citrus notes on nose. The nose also has some guava notes. The first sips reveal pear and a bit more of that citrus. The finish is long and pretty lush. Each additional sip draws you in for more and additional complexity is revealed.
The Swanson Pinot Grigio is perfectly enjoyable sipped on it's own. But it also pears well with quite a few foods. I found it to be a great foil for mild cheeses as well as grilled chicken and lentil soup. Like the other wines I have had from Swanson Vineyards, the best word to describe the Pinot Grigio is Elegant. Although retail price is $21.00, Wine-Searcher.com shows that the Swanson Pinot Grigio is widely available for around $15.99. In some cases it can be had for less.
The Terlato Family Vineyards 2006 Pinot Grigio is enjoyable but comparing it to the Swanson Vineyards Pinot Grigio it comes up a bit short. Swanson Vineyards 2006 Pinot Grigio is the better, more complex bottle of wine and the better value. Swanson has been making exceptional wines in Napa for the better part of two decades. The 2006 Pinot Grigio, is but one example.