The Store has elected, for some reason, to no longer carry Fetzer’s Pinot Grigio. They will still have their Chardonnay, their Cabernet, and other varietals, but not the P.G. So this was in their scratch and dent section at a get-rid-of-’em price of $9.99 for a 1.5 liter bottle, and $5.99 for the 750ml. By comparison the Fetzer Chardonnay in a 1.5 is $16.99, so this was a great buy. But, as we have repeatedly experienced and shared, a deeply discounted price is not necessarily a good buy. If the contents taste like Listerine, it’s no bargain at all.
Fetzer is a Mendocino County, California winery that from the early nineties until approximately right now has been owned by beverage conglomerate Brown-Forman. They are supposed to seal a deal with the Latin American wine producer Vina Concho Y Toro in April to unload most of their wine brands, including Fetzer. This is no small potatoes acquisition; Fetzer shipped 3 million cases in 2010, making them one of California’s big boys. Fetzer has, for most of their history, pursued sustainable farming and operating practices and has built an identity around that philosophy. Besides the obvious consumer good will such an approach to business generates, they say their methods lead to better grapes and better wine as well. Hopefully, the new ownership will allow Fetzer to continue their earth-friendly ways.
If the corporate conscience at Fetzer deserves applause, so too does their Pinot Grigio. This is very good. Very. It is fruity-citrus, pear, peach, slightly earthy. There is some oak tone, though Pinot Grigio usually isn’t barreled. Maybe it is, or, more likely, it is just the terroir showing up in the palate. Either way, it is among the most pleasant wines our household has had on the table in awhile.
Note to self- things to do: 1) go to The Store, 2) go straight to the clearance aisle and see if there is any Fetzer Pinot Grigio left, and if so, 3) load up!