Stunning Friuli White
We knew we had to offer Wine Access clients this cellar-stuffer $14.99 Pinot Grigio when our Chief Wine Officer, Matt Deller, MW, positively raved. Why? Matt is typically reserved and though he doesn’t boast of the many thousands of wines he tastes annually, when he’s excited about a wine, we know to pay attention (and order a case for HQ). Calling the 2016 Giorgio Zaglia from Italy’s Friuli DOC “The best $15 Pinot Grigio I've ever tasted,” was high praise. That he was “blown away when the price of this wine was revealed after tasting it in our judging panel,” was unheard of validation. Drinking more like a $25-30 Pinot Grigio that calls to mind Friuli legend Silvio Jermann’s round, ripe, tangy $30+ offerings, Matt’s opinions were echoed by Wine Enthusiast’s “Importer of the Year” — the Master Sommelier Fan Kysela, who imports Zaglia. “I was in Italy this spring and met Dr. Giorgio Zaglia, and I couldn’t believe the quality of the wines,” he told us. Kysela compared this dry, full-bodied white to Jermann’s wines from “back in the day, but, at half the price,” which is to say — classically styled and mind-bogglingly delicious. Pinot Grigio like this just don’t come around very often. And at $14.99 per bottle, they don’t last long. Highly recommended case-buy — don’t miss this one.
The reason for Fran’s admiration traces to the purity of Dr. Zaglia’s fruit. Since taking the reins of the family winery in the mid-1980s, the doctor has deployed winegrowing techniques that minimize environmental impact and maximize expression of Friuli’s inimitable microclimate. Old-school methods like hand-harvesting are strictly enforced, yet he leaves plenty of room for modern innovation. Burgundy-esque techniques like temperature-controlled fermentation and the high-density planting of vines across the property’s 74 acres further enhance the wine’s depth.
These tactics provide the backbone of the 2016 Giorgio Zaglia Pinot Grigio; a refined expression of Friuli terroir packed with floral aromatics and nuanced earthiness. This is a label whose excellence makes its value even more remarkable.