Parker: “I Can’t Recommend Highly Enough”
Chiseled and mouthwateringly racy, the 2016 Schiopetto Pinot Grigio is among the most compelling Italian whites. James Suckling lobbed on 95 points — the highest score he’s awarded to a Pinot Grigio in three vintages — praising the “full body” and “incredible spicy character.” Schiopetto is the reference point for the Friuli region, releasing whites that astound for their crispness and clarity. “While not cheap, they are the most compelling tank-fermented and aged dry white wines made in northeastern Italy,” Robert Parker has raved. “Possessing abundant flavors that build incrementally in the mouth, they are dazzling wines that I can’t recommend highly enough.” Stock up on a case today for just $29.99 a bottle.
One of the masters of 20th century Italian wine, Mario Schiopetto is etched into the history books alongside fellow legends Angelo Gaja, Piero Antinori, and Franco Biondi Santi. He was a man obsessed with varietal typicity, importing the vinicultural techniques of France and Germany in order to achieve the purest possible expression of northern Italian grapes. In the process, he gained international fame for the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and revolutionized what consumers and critics would come to expect from Italian white wines like Pinot Grigio. When he succumbed to cancer at age 72 in 2003, the wine world mourned the loss of one of Europe’s winemaking giants.
Mario’s children — Carlo, Giorgio, and Maria Angela— have carried on his work superbly, cementing Schiopetto’s place in the inventory logs of nearly ever serious collector of Italian wine. “Schiopetto’s pinot grigio towers above most other Italian versions,” wrote Karen MacNeil in her authoritative The Wine Bible. “This wine has fascinating choreography; it moves with energy. … It’s like tasting a sunburst.”
Today, the hills of Collio are famous for producing much of Italy’s best Pinot Grigio. The elevation of the slopes leads to sharp diurnal temperature shifts, infusing grapes with profound aromatics, while the nearby Julian Alps create a protective microclimate in which vines can enjoy the warm, buffeting breezes off the Adriatic Sea. But perhaps the most distinctive element element of the Collio terroir is the ponca — sandstone marl dating back to the Eocene era — which imparts to the wine its trademark mineral salinity.
The Schiopetto family’s dedication to honoring the integrity of soil and grape in their bottlings has led Robert Parker to declare them “the most compelling tank-fermented and aged dry white wines made in northeastern Italy. Possessing abundant flavors that build incrementally in the mouth,” Parker added, “they are dazzling wines that I can’t recommend highly enough.”
James Suckling could have been reading from the same script in sizing up this mouthwatering 2016 release, with a 95-point score that was the Italian wine expert’s highest for a Pinot Grigio since 2013. Fans of crisp Italian whites, Chablis, and Albariño will all fall head over heels for this extraordinary effort.