Pinot... Blanc that is
Did you know that Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Blanc are all technically the same grape variety? It's true. Pinot is quite prone to mutation, and it is an old and widely planted cultivar, so there are a great many Pinot clones, some green, some pink, some purple, some so dark as to appear black. The picture above is of a Pinot bunch that has differently colored berries because a mutation occurred on the vine during the growing season; it happens all the time.
Pinot Blanc is perhaps the most underappreciated member of the Pinot family, and we have this feeling that winemakers try harder to make something interesting and distinctive with Pinot Blanc.
Colterenzio Pinot Bianco 'Cora' 2017
A number of you already know this wine. We keep it right next to Colterenzio's Pinot Grigio, and every time someone picks up the Grigio we say something like "hey, ummm, ya know, the Pinot Bianco is way more interesting, and it's the same price". You guys usually listen, and very often come back for the Bianco next time. Both wines are models of freshness and levity, but the Pinot Bianco is always more complex and aromatic. The 2017 features beautiful aromas of fresh peaches, pears, apples and white flowers, while the palate is drenched in stony nuances and carried by vibrant acidity. We don't want to say "stop drinking Pinot Grigio"... or do we? Falkenstein Niedermenniger Herrenberg Weissburgunder 2017 This is why you should show up on Saturday. Falkenstein might just be our favorite winery, and we believe you should favor them too. The wines, top to bottom, are impeccable, and bottles disappear quickly these days. Their 2017 Weissburgunder is simply gorgeous, undoubtedly one of the world's great ambassadors for the palest Pinot. Pure notes of white peach, green pear, green apple and sweet lime juice are so enticing, but it does not stop at effusive fruitiness, there are nuances of green corn husks, fresh cream, wet stones and raw crustaceans that will leave you searching and salivating. Extraordinarily dry, with a tactile and chalky texture, it finishes long, complex and intense, with a snappy and sapid acidity carrying a wealth of fruity, stony and umami flavors. This will be great with so many dishes, but one might especially consider something like simply grilled scallops dressed with a spritz of citrus. Brooks Pinot Blanc 2018 There's a bit of a spicy side to this beautiful Oregon Pinot Blanc that'll make it stand out from the rest of the lineup. Despite its exotic flair, it remains true to the type we look for in Pinot Blanc: fresh, mineral and crisp. Sweet citrus, fresh pear and a spicy floral note combine beautifully on the nose, while the palate brings plenty of acid and minerality to keep it lively and energetic. In the world of fine New World wines, this is a spectacular bargain. Albert Mann Pinot Blanc 2017 If you know this wine you might be like "dude, that's not really Pinot", and you would be right to say so. In Alsace, you can blend a whole lot Auxerrois (not a Pinot) with Pinot Blanc and still keep the varietal label; this wine is in fact 70% Auxerrois and 30% Pinot! Like the Oregon Pinot described above, this wine has a spicy side, but here it is amplified as well as allied to a delicate note of honey. Rather creamy and ripe on the nose, with a sneaky viscosity to the palate, this wine toes a delectable line, at times rich and dense, then ethereal and bright. It will be a great option for lighter curries, or seafood dishes with a bit of fiery spice.