This is Pinot Grigio purity! It speaks volumes that the Frescobaldi family—which has produced wine in Tuscany for over 700 years and owns the legendary Masseto and Wine Spectator’s #1 Wine of the Year Ornellaia—set their sights on the historic Attems estate for their one and only venture outside of Tuscany.
The 2017 Attems Pinot Grigio represents a region that produces Pinot Grigio like no other: It is flowery and citrusy, with mouthwatering fruit and a laser-like minerality, a perfect pairing for grilled seafood and an ideal aperitif. The importers of Attems are awash in some of Italy’s greatest red wines, yet the employees pop open bottles of Attems more than any of their other wines. Why? Because it is delicious. This is your chance to get one from a region-defining producer, at the case-buy price of $22 per bottle.
In purchasing the historic Attems estate in 2000, the Frescobaldi family did the near-impossible: Joined forces with a producer even more deeply rooted in their region than the Frescobaldis are in theirs: The Attems dynasty is documented to have been tending vines in Friuli-Venezia Giulia as far back as the year 1106. In addition to their longevity, the family has wielded impressive influence on the region, as it was Count Douglas Attems who, in 1964, founded the Consorzio dei Vini del Collio, the organization that won DOC status for Collio.
The region is uniquely suited to viticulture, and the Attems’ 110 acres of vines on south-facing slopes west of Gorizia are protected from the chilly northern winds and from the bora wind of Trieste. The Pinot Grigio vines are planted largely in Eocene marls and sandstone created by the seabed uplifting 50 million years ago. Refracted sunlight off of the nearby Gulf of Trieste facilitates ripening. The convergence of all of these properties is what has made Friuli-Venezia Giulia one of the worlds most inimitable white wine regions.
The grapes for the 2017 Attems Pinot Grigio are soft-pressed, then the must (just-pressed juice) settles for 24-48 hours before fermentation, which takes mostly in stainless steel, coupled with a tiny portion that is barrel-fermented, adding a bit of texture. Adding to the richness, the wine spends four months on its lees, lending a beautiful creaminess to complement the laser-like minerality. This is true Pinot Grigio purity: a perfect seafood and aperitif wine from a producer who has led the region for a millennium. If you are head over heels for Pinot Grigio, this wine is for you.