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.
Not 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.