Wine: Terlato Pinot Grigio
Grape: Pinot grigio
Region: Russian River Valley, Calif.
In the glass: Terlato Pinot Grigio is a faint yellow color with a crisp, clear appearance going from a bright core out into an almost glass-clear meniscus with medium viscosity.
On the nose: There is sweetish zesty citrus at first, followed by a multitude of freshly crushed white fruits such as currants, with hints of green apple, Bartlett pears, lemon rind, herbs and floral qualities as well. It is very charming indeed.
On the palate: Terlato Pinot Grigio coats the palate with rounded white fruit, white currants, minerals, stone and hints of licorice root right through the midpalate into a solid and well-balanced finish, with harmony between the fruit and the acidity. Normally, it is the acidity that distinguishes a good pinot grigio. This Terlato must be right up there, because it is pleasant and lingering with lovely, soft citrusy notes.
Odds and ends: Terlato Pinot Grigio is from the importers of the best-known brand in the country, Santa Margherita. But this California wine actually beats the more expensive Italian one when tasted side by side. Terlato Pinot Grigio is a stunningly fresh wine to drink as an aperitif, or even with shellfish, especially outdoors, now that spring is upon us. Serve it chilled to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and drink this wine through 2010.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz's wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at email@example.com.