Grignolino & Heitz Cellar
Updated: Jun 24, 2020
In 2019 while on an epic wine trip around Napa, I discovered one of the most interesting wines I have ever tasted to date. A 2015 Grignolino from Heitz Cellar.
Grignolino comes from the Monferrato hills in the Piemonte region of Italy. This wine is very tannic for how light the wine is, after doing a bit of research I learned this varietal has an abundance of pips, and the name actually comes from grignole, which means "pips" in the Asti region.
My tasting note on this wine was a point of much ridicule throughout the trip, and I must preface this with I weirdly enjoyed the wine. It was very intense on the nose, cherry syrup flavoring with a medicinal character like baby ointment, and a finish that reminded me of grape-flavored Dimetapp (the best medicine ever when you were a kid)! I preface the grape-flavored because I recently learned that Dimetapp now comes in "cool blast" and "citrus burst" flavors. Mind blown but moving on.
Heitz started growing Grignolino in the 1960s and is one of only two producers who make 100% Grignolino wines in the US. The 2015 vintage saw an early spring and "unseasonably cold weather" towards the middle of the season, which impacted the number of clusters produced. So the berries that we able to ripen had a high concentration of color and flavor.
If you want to check out the 100% Grignolino producer check in the Santa Clara Valley at Guglielmo Winery in Morgan Hill.