2019 Weingut Kofererhof Valle Isarco Pinot Grigio

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Wine Critic Reviews for 2019 Weingut Kofererhof Valle Isarco Pinot Grigio

The Köfererhof 2019 Alto Adige Valle Isarco Pinot Grigio is a wine that speaks to the potential of its territory; more so, I would argue, than to the actual grape on display here. Pinot Grigio delivers consistent results throughout Alto Adige, generally speaking; however, this bottle from the Valle Isarco shows the true potential of the grape-growing region with the highest altitude in Alto Adige. It is especially fine-tuned, tonic and fresh, the sort of twenty-something-dollar bottle you'd happily pair with your favorite seafood. The bouquet snaps open to citrus, honey, crunchy pear and passion fruit. This is a standout Pinot Grigio worthy of your attention.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RP
Aromas of ripe white stone fruit, sun-warmed hay and Alpine wildflowers mingle together on this savory white. On the dry, medium-bodied palate, hints of fennel seed, hazelnut and saline accent a core of yellow pear and honeydew. Fresh acidity keeps it nicely balanced.

Wine Enthusiast | 92 WE

Wine Details on 2019 Weingut Kofererhof Valle Isarco Pinot Grigio

More Information
Producer Weingut Kofererhof
Region Alto Adige
Subregion Alto Adige
Appellation Valle Isarco
Country Italy: What are the first things that come to mind when thinking about Italy and Italian culture? There's one thing that nearly everyone tends to mention, it's the food - and where there's fine food, there is almost always fine wine. Italy is the most prolific wine region in the world, outclassing even France in terms of production quantity. Even if you're a complete wine novice, you have almost certainly heard of names such as Barolo and Barbaresco, Italy's most famous wine styles. When it comes to soil composition and other geographical characteristics, Italy offers a lot of diversity, and this never fails to show in the wines themselves.
Type of Wine Italy White
Varietal Pinot Grigio: One of the most fascinating aspects of wine grapes is their ability to grow in different regions, countries and continents and be distinctly recognizable by the terroir in which they reside. Not all grape varieties have this luxury, but the Pinot Gris grape is somewhat of an anomaly; from its coloration to its adaptability, to its origin and its terroir reflective qualities. The varietal, which originated in Burgundy, France is now grown all over the world, having had successful resulting wines, many of which have their own unique style and flavor.

The Pinot Gris grape varietal hails from the noble Pinot family, being a mutation of the legendary Pinot Noir grape. The grape, itself, is peculiar as it ranges in color from gray-tinged pink to blue (“gris” meaning “gray” in French). Unlike most white grapes, such as Pinot Blanc and Riesling, Pinot Gris actually looks more like a red wine grape.

Pinot Gris is early ripening and thrives in cool climates such as Alsace in France, Baden in Germany (where it is commonly-known as Grauburgunder) and Alto Adige and Veneto in northeastern Italy (where it is called Pinot Grigio). Its ability to reflect terroir is astounding and no doubt a trait it shares with Pinot Noir (though Pinot Noir is a more fussy grape and less able to adapt to warmer climes). It is highly adaptable to a range of terroirs, including the volcanic hillside soils of Alsace, to the diverse soils of Baden, Germany such as loem, loess, granite, clay, limestone and sand. Pinot Gris also feels right at home in Alto Adige, where the ancient sea bed provides an array of soil types such as clay, chalk deposits and over 150 different rock types which also helps to shape the hilly terrain and mineral rich terroir.

Pinot Gris can be vinified in several different styles, each with its own flavor profile. Compared to other French whites, Pinot Gris tends to be less aromatic than Sauvignon Blanc and drier than Chardonnay. The typical Pinot Gris is full-bodied with a fresh, spicy flavor and notes of tropical fruit, stone fruit, or citrus; with riper grapes being less acidic. Although the majority of Pinot Gris produced in France is fashioned in this style, a small amount of prized Alsace Pinot Gris is produced in a sweet dessert styled wine, labeled under the title, Vendage Tardive or VT (meaning late harvest). These prized grapes are the result of Botrytis or Noble Rot, which is a beneficial fungus which attacks the grape, shriveling it to a raisin-like state, locking in heavenly high sugars and flavors. These wines are more age worthy and highly sought after.

Italian Pinot Gris (Grigio) wines are light-bodied and crisp, with a flavor profile of pear, green apple and stone fruit, with floral aromas such as honeysuckle. The Italian vinification process begins with an early harvest in an attempt to retain the grape’s naturally high and fresh acidity. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks also helps to retain the grape’s “zing.” If barrels were used for fermentation, it would add palate weight and sweet vanilla aromas. The “everyday” Italian Pinot Gris (Grigio) is fashioned in the former which results in a clean, fresh and simple style at a lower monetary value. This is one of the more popular styles and is voraciously purchased on the US market.

The German name for Pinot Gris is Grauburgunder (which translates to “Grey Burgundian”). It is widely cultivated in the regions of Baden, Rheinhesseh and Pfalz, where the styling is more mineral-driven (compliments of the regions’ mineral rich terroir) and has a higher level of acidity. Floral aromas and citrusy flavors come through beautifully; the wines are often tinged with exotic spice notes. Of course, not only is Pinot Gris highly influenced by terroir, but also winemaker which is evident in the Baden locale, where producers focus on richer, fuller-bodied, often sweeter and more fragrant wines.

The versatility of the Pinot Gris grape is incredibly impressive. Its reflective nature has allowed the variety to prosper around the world; whether it is the crisp and clean everyday drinking Pinot Grigio from Italy, Grauburgunder cultivated from the rocky terroir of Germany or the lusciously sweet dessert Pinot Gris from the mountainous region of Alsace. Pinot Gris has become one of the most important grape varieties for cool climate vintners and produces some of the most frequently purchased wines in the world.

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