For those who live for taste, Pinot Grigio is often spoken with the same warmth and love as a war criminal being held in The Hague. The mere mention of the varietal will cause involuntary eye-rolls and produce some of the most bitter scorn you will ever see in this business. With this much hatred, you would think Pinot Grigio was responsible for attempting a mass genocide or plotting to blow up the Moon, when in fact all it is guilty of is being (in the hands of many) a bland and boring glass of wine.
It is time to get over it. Enough.
And after my time with Venica’s compelling 2016 Jesera Pinot Grigio, the judgement and eye-rolls will come to a halt. This is a full, soft, wonderfully complex white wine, perfect for light summer fare and the pool.
2016 Venica Jesera Pinot Grigio
“Luminous straw color. Intense, perfumed nose of apple, pear and lemon verbena, with a hint of tropical fruit emerging from the background. Then rich and suave with very good juicy cut to the pomaceous orchard fruit flavors. Much richer and denser than the average Italian Pinot Grigio. Finishes long and pure. Well done.” 91 Points, Vinous
More About the Wine
Venica is a family-owned estate in the Dolegna district of Collio in the Friuli region in the north-eastern corner of Italy. The family has owned the estate since 1930, when the winery was founded. During the 1940s, the wines were already well respected in the region and were one of the first in Collio to enjoy wide distribution all over Italy. It was during this time that Venica began to expand its vineyards, moving to hillside tiers to gain maximum sunshine for its vines and catch the northerly winds from the Alps. This was key. The results are wines that carry ripe fruit but still retain structure and plenty of acidity – the life blood for refreshing white wine.
Today the estate is managed by two brothers, Gianni in the vineyard and Giorgio in the cellar. Since the early 2000’s the wines have been sustainably made, which means little to any use of herbicides and pesticides. Their 2016 is rich in body and will be best as complement to food. Think roast chicken and light lunch salads. Grilled octopus sounds pretty good, too.