Da Vinci, Delle Venezie IGT, 2011

In the spirit of trying to knock off some of the easy regions early on, this wine is the first from an IGT region on the list. The IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) designation is the lowest of the three designations I’m exploring – DOCG, DOC, and IGT. It serves as a bridge between the DOC/DOCG designations and the Vino da Tavola designation (table wine). IGT regions still have rules governing which grapes are allowed and how the wine can be made, but they are much more relaxed than most DOC/DOCG rules, allowing winemakers more flexibility.

The name of this IGT region is a reference to the three regions in Italy’s northeast corner: Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Trentino-Alto Adige, which are collectively known as “Tre Venezie” due to their proximity and historic relationship to Venice. The Delle Venezie IGT stretches, as you might guess, into provinces in all three of the northeastern Italian regions and covers all grapes and wine styles made in those regions. Much of the wine you’ll find in the US from the Delle Venezie IGT is white, a large portion of which is Pinot Grigio. It’s hard to browse the white Italian wine section of your grocery store or wine shop and not see at least a few wines from this region, many of which are fairly cheap. That said, this region actually has a pretty good reputation as far as IGT regions go.

This wine is a Pinot Grigio from the Italian producer Da Vinci, who has added a small amount of Chardonnay (about 10%) to the blend in order to make it a bit creamier. The wine has a light, pale yellow color to it, not quite as amber as some of the other Italian whites on the list. It has a very fruit forward nose, with aromas of lemon and melon. The body is light and dry, with a nice, crisp acidity to it. On the palate there are flavors of lemon and grapefruit, with a bit of apple as well. The finish is clean, with some lingering acidity to it. Overall this is a nice crisp wine, not overly complex but very fresh and easy-drinking. One of the better Italian Pinot Grigio’s I’ve had.

Price: $12

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