- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bollini, Pinot Grigio, Trentino, 2004, $14

P inot grigio, the Italian name for the French grape pinot gris, has become one of America’s favorite white wines, ranking only behind chardonnay in sales. Unfortunately, mediocrity often accompanies popularity, and an awful lot of pinot grigio now on the market tastes innocuous if not insipid.

The culprit is excessive yields in the vineyards, fueled, of course, by increased consumer demand. When more and more people want more and more wine, quality almost inevitably will suffer.

The problem is exacerbated with pinot grigio from northern Italy, where the grapes are picked when barely ripe to yield light-bodied wines that at their best will seem deliciously crisp and refreshing. Too often these days, they taste simply shrill, there being insufficient flavor in the fruit itself. Happily, though, there are exceptions. Bollini’s 2004 pinot grigio from Trentino is a delectable one.

This wine is a bit weightier than most pinot grigios, with a musky character that enhances the taste of citrus and tart apple fruit. More to the point, it offers delicate but pronounced flavor — the fruit to be sure, but also notes that echo toasted nuts and dried herbs.

A fine partner for light seafood fishes, it also will pair well with spring salads and many vegetable dishes. Put simply, there’s nothing bland or boring about it. (Imported by Kobrand.)

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