Comelli 2011 Pinot Grigio “Amplius”

Friuli Colli Orientali DOC, (northeastern) Italy; 13% ABV imported by Global Wine Co., San Rafael, CA $4 at the Oakland, CA, store on 7 July.  Seen at Berkeley 14 July.

Comelli_2011_PinotGrigioNot that I have tasted a huge amount of Pinot Grigio, but I find this one quite impressive.  From the start, the color is a darker, more saturated golden yellow than usually seen in PG.  On the palate, the texture is heavier, and the flavors more intense: honeyed straw, yellow apple / golden kiwi, maybe green fig, and what I think is supporting oak.  At first, the wine seemed a little too heavy, but a little while after opening, the lemony acid became stronger and more integrated.  IMO, this is a very tasty bargain. This, from the New York Times Wine Club site (member price $11.48/bottle), explains why this PG is so different than those with which I have been familiar, although I somewhat disagree with their flavor profile:

For their Amplius pinot grigio, Comelli employs a common Friulian technique not often seen outside Italy to extract as much flavor as possible. Some of the carefully handpicked grapes are first soaked, then fermented along with the crushed grape skins, similar to how traditional reds are made. This process yields silkiness, body and flavors that are instantly evident in the glass. Aromas of peach, honeydew melon, apple and tangerine lead in to a striking mineral/fruit balance that continues through the fresh finish.

The next day, the wine is more tart and bitter but still pretty good.


10 thoughts on “Comelli 2011 Pinot Grigio “Amplius”

  1. seedboy

    I enjoyed some more of this PG last night. It seemed to have become more complex with the additional air. At $3.99 in Oakland I’ll buy a couple of them. Also should pick up some of the rose, as we are fully into rose season.

  2. seedboy

    Based on this review I am now interested in this wine. The Sauvignon from the same label is definitely not made in that style.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      At the Berkeley store this evening, this wine was $6, and mixed in with the Sauvignon (blanc) on the shelf in the corner.

      1. philinoakland

        Yeah, the Berkeley store seems to have a mark-up over the Oakland store. The Domaine Haut-Blanville you reviewed is $4 in Oakland and $5 in Berkeley.

        Looking forward to your review of the Provence Rosé in the funny (amphora) bottle ($4 in Oakland).

        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Hi Phil. Nice to see you here. I think you had better try that Provence Rosé in the amphora bottle and let us know what you think (in Guest Contributions). I have only one person’s word on it, and only that is it very dry (as it should be!). Although I have no rosé at home at the moment, I do have quite a bit of wine from the recent importer dump, and I might not get to it for a while.

          1. Seedboy

            I have tried the rose. It is dry and rather light on flavor but nicely balanced
            . If you want rose and do not have any you should buy a bottle or two.

            1. philinoakland

              I was working on the peninsula today so called in the GO in Redwood City (after a quick visit to Gourmet Haus Staudt for a glass of Dunkels). They didn’t have the Amphora bottle rosé, for me to taste it again, so I’ll just echo Seedboy’s comments which are spot on, thereby making it a pretty easy quaffer.

              They had some of the Petit Le Mont left, so it wasn’t a wasted trip. That is a great value French sauvignon.

              I spent some time in Provence in the last decade and noted that most of the locals drank rosé both at lunch and dinner (which I found a bit surprising), at least in the restaurants I frequented. My view on these wines is that there are the pricey ones (e.g. Bandol, Domaine Tempier etc) which are outstanding, then there are the inexpensive ones. The amphora bottle one – l’Amphore de Provence to give it its full name was, to my taste certainly above the mean in quality for a wine this inexpensive although, as Seedboy says, it’s a bit light on the flavor.

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