Monday, October 19, 2009

Locati Cellars Oregon Pinot Grigio - 2007

In the 80's the trendy white wine was Chardonnay. In 2000, it appears to be the little gray grape with the split personality - Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio, depending if you are in France or Italy. I typically don't drink a lot of whites even though I’ve been on my soapbox barking that those of us who favor the red grape, need to give whites a chance. So, although I am not perfect, I try to heed my own words - - once in awhile.

After the Labor Day weekend, I remembered a chilled bottle of Locati Cellars Oregon Pinot Grigio - 2007 a guest left in my refrigerator. He had mentioned how much he enjoyed the wine and was anxious to get my opinion on it. Locati Cellars is located on the Stateline Road at Milton-Freewater, OR which is still located in the Walla Walla AVA. Something told me with the Locati name it had to be good because of their reputation for fine local produce in the valley and they've been been making wine for their family for over 100 years.

Since my experience with Pinot Gris or Grigios has been minimum (a glass here. a glass there) and it's been a few years since I tasted an Alsatian Pinot Gris, I became rather hooked on this refreshing white wine from Locati Cellars. It displayed a light mineral quality up front, a mid palate of honeydew melon and lemons and ended with just the right amount of acids to make it crisp and left the palate very clean and wanting more. It was an easy sipper and definitely a wine I would recommend for seafood that's been accented well with butter.

A few days after tasting the wine, I packed up my little dog, Chloe and off we ventured to the Oregon Coast to unwind in front of the ocean, ponder life and gather new energy from the waves. I kept thinking about the Locati Cellars Pinot Grigio and how well it would pair with fish and seafood. One evening at the beach I took advantage of the one burner in the room's kitchenette and threw together linquine with clam sauce. Not the creamy, starchy, thick clam sauce, but a fresh lemony, buttery and clam nectar sauce with simple ingredients. Of course, I needed a good wine to go with, so I bought an popular Willamette Valley label Pinot Grigio. Hey, when in Rome...

But you know, the Willamette Valley Pinot Grigio was okay - - just okay when compared to the Locati Cellars Pinot Grigio from the other side of Oregon - - the NE side of Oregon. The popular Willamette Valley wine just didn’t have the crisp and spritzy acids that the Locati Cellars Pinot Grigio produced and frankly I think there was a skoosh of residual sugar hanging around in the Willamette Pinot Grigio - a bit cloying for my taste. The linguine with clam sauce really needed the Locati Cellars Pinot Grigio. It's really more of a sophisticated and food friendlier wine.

After enjoying the Locati Cellars Pinot Grigio, I am really anxious to try the other Locati Cellars wines from owners Michael and Penne Locati. For the time being you can taste their wines at Cugini Italian Foods at Wallula Avenue and Penne tells me that their new tasting room will be opening soon at the old Train Depot on North Second in Walla Walla. Penne also told me about a dry Orange Muscat they have produced, which I am looking forward to trying, besides their Italian red varietals. Salute'!

1 comment:

Innovative Wine said...

Hi Catie,

I don't know if I have tasted the Locati Cellars pinot grigio but I am a fan of the varietal.

We have been to a few trade tastings of the wines wines of Walla Walla convincing me that we need a spring trip to the region. Great review.

Roger Stockton