One of the fascinating aspects of Italian wine is the number of varietals under the radar, especially in renowned areas such as Tuscany and Piedmont. It’s hard to acquire cachet when you’re up against Brunello and Classico, Barolo and Barbaresco….which is the fate of Grignolino.
Grown in the communes of Asti and Monferrato Casale since Medieval times, the name may come from the local dialect term for grape seed. Typically it has high levels of acidity and surprisingly strong tannins for a wine that is Pinot-like in color. In fact, one of its many local aliases is Nebbiolo Rosato.
This single-vineyard version from Gaudio was harvested late to enhance its depth and extraction of flavor and pigment. Whereas some Grignolinos can be light and almost effervescent, this shows an integration of fruit and tannins in a balanced structure. Faint scents of roses can be found on a subtle nose. Just ripe enough, red fruit is accompanied by white pepper and a dash of mildly tingling minerals. The overall effect is refreshing and eminently drinkable.
Because of the cutting acidity, it can hold its own with cheese-based dishes or creamy sauces, as well as aged local cheeses and Crudo. For other ideas, come to a food and wine pairing class!