The north-eastern Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia has a storied past. Once part of the Ventian Republic, later part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the region has seen its share of turmoil, and can count more than just Italia among its heritage.
The wine from the area can be very similar in this way. The region is pressed up against Austria and Slovenia, so wines from Friuli sometimes have a Germanic influence to them. This Pinot Grigio from Silvio Jermann (the last name doesn’t sounds Italian to me!) fits this bill.
In the glass, the wine is a light golden hue, darker than a Sauv Blanc, lighter than a Chard. The nose here is… interesting, to say the least. I liked it, but the strongly mineralistic and herbacious nose—there’s even a hint of petrol here, Sauv Blanc fans—will turn some people off.
The palate is very different, though. This is a full-bodied, but low-acid wine, better for drinking on its own than it would be with food. Certainly you’d want to pair it with light fare (grilled fish?) if anything. There are heavy citrus notes here, grapefruit and lemon and lime, nice, but a hell of a lot of it. The wine seems a bit one-note, but the note is really quite good.
My favorite Pinot Grigio? No, can’t say that it is. But it was very enjoyable nonetheless. Not the wine to hand to your wine-neophyte friends and family—that nose will turn them away—but for the adventurous type, a good example of the influences of this region on its wine.