Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pio Cesare Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese 2009

Grignolino is a new grape for me. Reading up, I find it is one of the tribe of 'lesser' red grapes of Piedmont. Now quite rare in Piemonte, plantings cluster between Asti and Monferrato. The name refers to the many seeds found in grignolino grapes. Grignolino is sometimes described as making rose-like wines, of light fruit, freshness and often a somewhat orange colour. This 2009 grignolino from Pio Cesare is not like that at all.

The fruit is mainly fresh strawberry and sour cherry to smell and taste, and sparkles in the glass rather than blocking all light. In fruit character it somewhat resembles village beaujolais, but the tannins and acid say Italy to me. The integration of fine, grippy tannin and acid is excellent, stretching out together from start to finish, without dipping or coming apart. Genuine refreshment here. Not for drinkers looking for fruit-forward styles of lighter red wine, but well-suited to cut through a plate of lasagna or sliced smallgoods.

$33.25 at Dan Murphy's in a mixed six-pack, sealed with natural cork (about to fail, this one), 13% alcohol.

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