93 Insider Points
Get Ready for Summertime, the Pinot Grigio has Landed
I've said it once and I'll say it again: tropical flavors are easily some of my most favorite. From candy to real fruit to fermented fruit, it's the one with an extra juiciness that really grab my attention. It's what got me interested in Laird's newest release. Their single-vineyard Pinot Grigio is great spot to jump into the season.
A tropical medley nose. The palate brings pineapple, white guava puree, lychee and honeysuckle on a light-medium body. It all flows through a medium finish. Get out on the porch or somewhere open-aired on a mellow summer night, this'll be just right. 93 Points - JZ May '18
Our Sourcing Team made a quick grab of this lively 2017 straight from the bottling line, and we’re first to market Laird’s newest Pinot Grigio. A vinous equivalent to fresh-squeezed lemonade, this is an adult springtime and summer sipper that absolutely delights.
Laird’s Pinot Grigio is the winery’s best-selling bottle. Considering how speedily Laird’s Chardonnay and red wines sail through the marketplace, that is saying something. The source for this Pinot Grigio is Laird’s Cold Creek Ranch, located on the Sonoma County side of the Carneros District. As the name suggests, this is a chilly, fog-swept locale perfect for northern Italian varietals. In 2017, Cold Creek produced a brisk and sprightly Pinot Grigio with citrus as well as richer notes of honeydew and apple. Fermented and aged in 100% stainless steel, which means this focused white is untouched by those pesky woody/vanilla notes that plague too many domestic white wines.· The Laird family is the largest private vineyard owner in all of Napa Valley, which means access to tremendous fruit.
· When starting out in the business 40 years ago and looking for a knowledgeable consultant, Ken Laird picked Robert Mondavi out of a phone book (Mondavi’s name was the only one he recognized!).
· Consulting winemaker Brian Mox has fine tuned his talents for boutique reds and whites while at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Pine Ridge and alongside superstar Tony Soter at Etude.
· Pinot Grigio is still riding a wave of insane popularity—no surprise there. This northern Italian variety makes the sort of white wine that appeals to everybody and every occasion.
In Italy, Pinot Grigio is often accompanied by sliced prosciutto, seafood salads, salads and veal. We suggest similar cuisine, though Laird’s PG is also unbeatable as an aperitif.
The clear yellow sapphire hue sparkles in the sunlight, with inviting aromas of juicy passionfruit, honeysuckle and Juicy Fruit gum. The palate is balanced with medium acid and enticing flavors of melon, apricot, vanilla, and subtle mineralty, leading to a focused, mouthwatering finish.
From the winery:
Our story begins nearly sixty-four years ago outside of South Boston Virginia as twelve-year-old Ken Laird drove his mule wagon through tight rows of sticky, fit-to-be-harvested tobacco leaves. As the gooey bundles were thrown up onto the wagon, little Ken led his mule team to the curing barn. It was there, with his grandmother, great uncles and cousins, they would stoke smoky curing fires for their prized tobacco. Ken would be the third generation Laird to carry on the farming tradition.
While growing up to be a big city mechanical engineer in New York City, Ken held on to family tradition by buying his first Napa Valley parcel in 1970. This neglected piece of land, adjacent to Tubbs Lane in Calistoga, held 70 acres of worn-down prune trees. With Prohibition forty years gone and Napa Valley positioned to re-emerge as viticulturally significant, Ken decided to develop the orchard into a grape vineyard. While knowing just short of nothing about viticulture, Ken was also $150,000.00 short to properly develop the orchard into a respectable vineyard. Picking up a tattered phone book, Ken went to the yellow pages and found eight listed wineries…Robert Mondavi being the only one he recognized.
With a phone call, Robert Mondavi himself agreed to walk the property. After the two men discussed soils, vines, yields, irrigation, and proper pruning, Robert agreed to finance a deal with Ken if he would plant 50% Gamay. The deal was struck with a resulting vineyard of 50% Gamay and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, Mr. Mondavi guaranteeing Ken’s Cabernet “to be the highest harvest price paid in the Valley.” The support and encouragement of Robert Mondavi would allow Ken to return to his passion: his family farming heritage.
And the rest is history.
Uncork this wine next to Mahimahi tacos or a Chicken Alfredo dish. We also recommend trying it with some fresh veggies or squash.