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Mark Lipton

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WTN: 2012 Hart Cellars Pinot Gris

by Mark Lipton » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:02 am

Last Fall, we had the distinct pleasure of touring Niagara wine country with Howie Hart as part of a trip to see Niagara Falls. During our time together, Howie very kindly gave me some bottles of his wine to try. Tonight, with a dinner of homemade pasta with a sauce of onions, orange pepper, smoked andouille and San Marzano tomato, I opened a bottle of 2012 Pinot Gris. I was greeted with a wine with a distinct copper color, verging into the pink. It was a bit reticent in the nose, but with warming had a light bouquet of strawberries and stones. It also bore some resemblance to a good, dry rosé on palate, with crisp acidity, medium body and texture that, like the color, indicated some time spent in contact with the skins. Of all of the expressions of Pinot Gris/Grigio that I've had, it reminded me the most of Livio Felluga's from Friuli, though it had a touch more "orange wine" character than that. It went fabulously with the pasta and sauce. Great job, Howie!

Mark Lipton
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Howie Hart

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Re: WTN: 2012 Hart Cellars Pinot Gris

by Howie Hart » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:51 am

Thanks for the feedback and happy that you enjoyed it. The grapes were grown by Don DeMaison, owner of Long Cliff Winery, the second of our stops. 2012 was an excellent growing year locally - I made no adjustments, as the sugar and acid were in perfect balance. The grapes were given about 15 hours of skin contact and the wine pretty much made itself. I'll have to see if I can find a bottle of the Livio Felluga.
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Mark Lipton

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Re: WTN: 2012 Hart Cellars Pinot Gris

by Mark Lipton » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:52 pm

Howie Hart wrote:Thanks for the feedback and happy that you enjoyed it. The grapes were grown by Don DeMaison, owner of Long Cliff Winery, the second of our stops. 2012 was an excellent growing year locally - I made no adjustments, as the sugar and acid were in perfect balance. The grapes were given about 15 hours of skin contact and the wine pretty much made itself. I'll have to see if I can find a bottle of the Livio Felluga.


As I think we discussed at the time, Howie, I am no great fan of Pinot Gris in general, finding most of them too heavy and ponderous and without much aromatic character (as opposed to the majority of Italian Pinot Grigios that I find bland and acidic). (I believe that you may have expressed a similar sentiment) Your wine was noteworthy for its zippy and refreshing nature and the textural complexity imparted by the skin contact definitely added interest. And, let's face it, copper/pink color in the glass is fun!

Mark Lipton

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