When the Quality and Price Stars Align
Of the rare Pinot Grigios that manage to score in the mid-90s, next to none can be had for under $40. That’s why Peter Zemmer’s elegant and rich 2016 Alto Adige Pinot Grigio, coronated with 95 points by Decanter and offered at only $14.99, is a bona fide steal. We “discovered” the Zemmer Pinot Grigio a few years ago, but 95 points for the 2016 means that its days under the radar are long gone. Back in June, two hours after our offer landed in Wine Access client inboxes, our entire allocation sold out! We called the importer immediately. The wine just landed on U.S. shores and another two pallets — 112 cases intended for a top NYC restaurant that failed to pay the purchase order are now earmarked for Wine Access — sorry in advance to those who miss out this time, as it might the last.
Zemmer’s wines are from deep and rich soils in the warm southern microclimate near the Trentino line, where Pinot Grigio fattens up and takes on a decidedly more Alsatian complexion than its northern counterparts. Dry, warm conditions leading up to the 2016 harvest brought the grapes in with perfect ripeness and acidity, providing the raw materials for a superb production. Zemmer vinifies completely in stainless steel to preserve zesty acidity and vibrancy, and the result in 2016 is a fleshy and finely textured Pinot Grigio that simply obliterates the expectations for a sub-$20 wine.
We snapped to attention when we first tasted Peter Zemmer’s Pinot Grigio a few years ago. Then Decanter took notice and hung an unbelievable 95 on the 2016 vintage. A 95-point $14.99 wine? We simply can’t promise that again.