Review: 2018 RIFF Pinot Grigio
Alois Lageder’s RIFF label is designed to be an ultra-affordable option for those looking for the mountain-grown wines of northeast Italy (which means namely pinot grigio but RIFF also has a merlot-cab blend).
Riff stands for reef, a reference to the terroir of the foothills of the Northern Italian Alps, where grapes for RIFF wines are grown. Here, throughout the northernmost of the Veneto region, 220 million years ago was an ocean filled with reefs. The sea retreated and over the course of millions of years the fossilized coral reefs turned into an impressive mountain landscape. Today the rock layers are still full of hidden fossils from their past.
As an homage to these soils, RIFF Pinot Grigio features a Nautilus on the label, one of the fossils that can be found in these rugged Northern Italian Alps. For the 2018 vintage, RIFF has launched a new aesthetic which tells the story of the transition from colorful coral reef to tall mountains that this region has undergone over the last many millions of years, and the influence of distant marine ecology continues to have on the wines. From the ocean into the glass!
That’s a lot of back story for a 10 dollar pinot grigio!
Let’s try it.
Nothing entirely unexpected awaits the drinker, offering notes of coconut and pineapple, plus a mild floral character weaving its way through the tropical fruit. The body’s on the gummy side, offering a hint of coconut milk character on the rustic but approachable finish. Notes of almond butter and a bit of spice inform the slightly chewy conclusion.
B+ / $10 / riff-wines.eu