Old Pinot Grigio, old Tocai Friulano, young Picolit

The younger bottlings of Picolit actually impressed me more than the older at our Butussi in situ tasting yesterday because, as the young Filippo Butussi explained, in the early 00s, his family moved away from a lighter style (for which not all the Picolit grapes were dried before vinification) opting for a richer, 80-100% dried-grape style.

But the wines that REALLY blew me away were these bottlings of 1996 and 2000 Pinot Grigio and 1999 Tocai Friulano. Pinot Grigio is SO misunderstood in the U.S., where we mostly know it as a light, inoffensive, anonymous white wine that arrives in marketing-driven packages.

These older bottlings were not intended for long-term aging, explained Filippo, but he wanted to show the COF2011 team how these grapes, when vinified correctly, retain their quality and actually develop more and more character. Man, the 1999 Tocai was fan-friggin-TASTIC, with the white fruit balanced by some grassy and nutty notes and beautifully balanced acidity and low alcohol.