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Heitz and Roses

Posted on: March 23rd, 2011 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

If you can get your hands on this interesting Napa Valley wine, it will change your impression of the capabilities of the Napa wine growing region forever. This is because Heitz Wine Cellars has access to a vineyard that has been planting Grignolino, a relatively unknown Italian varietal, since the 1950s.

Heitz is most known for their big Napa cabernet, so this is a very different selection for them.

Grignolino is a native to Italy’s Piedmont region and was introduced into California by Italian immigrants many years ago. With a bouquet reminiscent of roses and leather, the American clone comes off so Italian that a blind tasting between the Heitz and one from the old country would prove an interesting challenge.

In addition to the floral flavors, this wine also has a very good acid balance, with a light finish, making it a perfect match with marinara pastas and many other Italian dishes.  Sure, it could also qualify as one of the “spaghetti wines”, but it is more elegant than a Chianti, having more flavors and complexity.

But no matter what, it’s sure to please the guests at your next big pasta dinner.  Serve it from the fridge after 40 minutes (55-60 degrees).  The flavors will continue to expand as it warms to room temperature.  Plus, it can be served with all the courses except dessert.

Heitz also produces a Rosè from this vineyard, but it may prove difficult to obtain locally.  You may ask AZ Wine or Sportsman’s to order it if interested.

Heitz Grignolino 2007 is available at Total Wine for less than $20 and is classified in the “other reds” category.  Be sure to stop by their tasting room in the Napa Valley, if you are in the vicinity, because Heitz always has a supply of Grignolino on hand to compare to their other wines.  One side-by-side taste and you will be able to confirm that this is a very different puppy from the other reds in their line.

Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at Examiner.com

View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.


About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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