We enjoy the refreshing quality of a well-made Italian Pinot Grigio and have toiled to emulate that style. What seems most important is picking the grapes towards the beginning of the ripeness curve, like the Italians, as opposed to the tendency among Alsatians to harvest their Pinot Gris as ripe as possible. Navarro's 2011 Gris harvest lasted three weeks but the grapes for this Grigio bottling were harvested during the first ten days. The first picking was from a small and newer block of Pinot Gris on September 24 and the last, nine days later. The juice from each picking was fermented and aged in separate oak casks until a final blend was assembled in May 2012. It has a springtime fresh bouquet; flavors of lemon grass, from the largest lot, dominate but the two other pickings provide hints of pineapple and guava. Serve it with your favorite pesto pasta and you'll be singing arias.
The Pinot family of grapes comes in three colors: red, white and grey. They share the same conical clusters and the leaves are quite similar so when the grapes are green it is difficult to tell them apart. Pinot Noir has color pigments in the skin, but Pinot Gris has limited red pigments and can produce a wine with a pinkish tinge. Pinot Gris is genetically unstable, as you can see from this photo shot at Navarro, with white and grey grapes in the same cluster.