Varietal: 100% Pinot Grigio
Region: California – USA
Cost: $10 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: Surround yourself with delicate aromas of lemon blossoms, honeysuckle, tropical fruits, white peaches, and jasmine flowers. Then savor the luscious flavors of white nectarines, tart lemons, and sweet honeydew melon. As Pinot Grigio should be, this medium-bodied wine is crisp and bright, with a tangy and lingering finish. Head outdoors and sip this wine as your revel in the sunset, a spring salad and grilled halibut.
My Review: Ah Pinot Grigio, the white wine that I once drank in great quantity, but have admittedly replaced with Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and Chardonnay. That’s not to say that I suddenly disliked Pinot Grigio, simply that my tastes evolved and I found them suited to a variety of other grapes as opposed to just Pinot Grigio.
That being said, I’m not opposed to a bottle of it here and there, and when a 3-pack of wines from Belle Ambiance showed up at my house, it provided an opportunity to give some California Pinot Grigio a whirl.
In the glass the wine was a light straw color – not terribly dark, but certainly not clear either. On the nose I picked up white peaches and honeysuckle, while in the mouth I found white nectarine and sweet honeydew melon most prevelant. Paired with a dinner that involved salmon steaks and a spicy curry-style sauce, the wine was a great counter note to the spicy flavors of the food. That being said, pairing this with a salad in the summer wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
For the price point it’s certainly a sippable Pinot Grigio. I’ve had worse wine for more money. I don’t know that I’d rush out to get it personally, but I will admit that the crisp and tangy notes, particularly on the finish, did appeal to my preference for wines like Sauvignon Blanc this time of year.
If you’re a fan of Pinot Grigio and you’re looking for a budget wine to enjoy on the deck with some friends, I’d argue you could do worse than the 2013 Belle Ambiance. It’s a passable budget wine that if not drinking at better than it’s $10 price point, doesn’t drink below it either, and that’s something to raise a glass to.
Editor’s Note: I received this bottle as a free sample for review.