Wine of the Day: Stanislao Radikon Pinot Grigio 2013 5-26-16

RadikonPinotGrigStanislao Radikon Pinot Grigio Venezia Giulia IGT, Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2013 750ML ($47.95) Buy Now: $41.90 special

Well, this ain’t your momma’s Pinot Grigio. Nor is it all that similar to any other Pinot Grigio you’ve likely ever had! The Radikon wines enjoy a cult-like following and have long attracted those who seek unique, palate-expanding, paradoxical wine experiences.

Tucked into one of the most north-eastern portions of Italy – a mere 400 or so meters from Slovenia – the estate neighbors the equally unique and esteemed wine house of Josko Gravner. At Radikon, all grapes are estate-grown and hand harvested; horse manure is used as fertilizer and no synthetic chemicals are employed in the vineyard or cellar. Vine plantings are extremely dense but pruned vigorously in order to produce smaller volumes of higher-quality grapes.

The ‘S’ Pinot Grigio is a fascinatingly rusty apricot color in the glass, changing hues as the light hits it similar to that of a marble. Wild flowers and stony elements emerge aromatically, while bright red cherry fruit, heaps of minerals, and dried pit fruits dominate the palate. As an orange wine, it’s fascinate to consider how tannin and body can emerge from a typically lean and easygoing ‘white varietal.’ ‘S’ Pinot Grigio sees two weeks of skin maceration before aging in neutral barrel for a year and resting in-bottle.

This wine is nothing short of brilliant and, believe it or not, is far less whacky than it sounds. Don’t serve it ice cold, and decant if possible – it’d be a stupendous pairing for more adventurous fish dishes or, otherwise, a simple plate with gamier, rustic elements. Very worth exploring! – Tyler