2014 Pinot Grigio shootout: Jermann vs. Albino Armani

31 05 2014

Today we compare two Italian pinot grigios.  They are THE most expensive ‘grigios I could find at Total Wine.  Jermann (2011) is $27; Albino Armani Colle Ara “1607” (2012) is $20.

When I first opened these, I thought this shootout was going to be easy because the Albino Armani was much better than the Jermann, and obviously much less expensive.  However, as I tasted both wines over a period of two days with various food, it became obvious that… the first impression was right.  This is a wipeout.

THE LOSER, AND I REALLY MEAN LOSER:  Jermann is tart, in a bad way, with lots of alcohol in the taste, kind of flat, hardly any sweetness to balance out the mouth-puckering sterno, but there is some honeysuckle.  Deep straw/yellow color. 13% alcohol.   Total Wine has criminally overpriced this wine at $27;  it would be great at around $10 (a check on Wine Searcher.com reveals that the true market price is $19-$20).  It’s not terrible, but it is so greedily priced that I am tempted to award it “Truly Awful” status.  Pairing with grilled chicken topped with spinach and mozzarela, and later with a rich salmon fillet, did nothing to vault its value anywhere near $27.

THE WINNER:  Albino Armani:   even more generously colored, this wine has some pink in its deep yellow color (or as the label says, a hint of copper).  13% alcohol.  Taste is complex, with mild spices and a sophisticated feel.   The sweetness in this wine — I can’t even describe it, except to say that it’s very interesting.   Now we’re talking.  For all I know, Total Wine is screwing us on the price here too.  But I say, it’s worth it.  (Wine Searcher .com shows $20 and only $20 as the price.  It’s available only at Total Wine.)

Not the best pinot grigio I’ve ever had, but very good and the best of these two by far:  Albino Armani Colle Ara “1607” pinot grigio from 2012, at $20. Recommended, and, the winner!

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