Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio: the 2013 release hits all the buttons

eccoEcco Domani — it translates to “Here’s tomorrow” — is an Italian brand that has been under the Gallo umbrella for many years. Fabrizio Gatto has been head winemaker since the 1995 vintage. (Can it be that long ago? I interviewed him at The Detroit News back then.)

Quoting from the Ecco Domani Web site, Gatto says his goal as winemaker is “to produce wines that are fruit forward and food friendly. My goal is to start with the best grapes possible and reflect the fruit flavors in the finished wines.” And Gatto is responsible for turning out oceans of wine for this big brand.

His 2013 Pinot Grigio presses all the right buttons in a summer plagued with rain and cool temps in the delle Venezie region of Italy’s Northeast. It was a test for winemakers.

Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT 2013, $12

Vintages mean everything, especially in areas where nature does not guarantee consistent conditions. Last year in Northeast Italy, depending on the district, the weather ranged from cool and rainy to hot and dry, and rainy at harvest. The result is high acidity — which adds to the charm of this wine, along with the interesting addition of 13 percent Chardonnay that may have been added for balance. Whatever the reason, this wine is pure delight — the crispness, the body.  It’s like stirring lemon zest into Gala apples with a hint of white flower blossoms, minerality and herbs. It’s a delightful dry white, ever so compatible with seafood and all the usual white-wine pairings. It’s widely available, including at Costco — but do keep an eye out for the 2013 vintage.

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