La Bastarda Pinot Grigio 2015

Very light yellow with green hints color; citrus, green apple, flowers on the nose; citrus, pear, apple on the palate.

Extra-dry, round, medium-light body, nice acidity, crisp, nicely fruity without being overly fruity. Pinot grigio is on a roll, with sales soaring in the United States, and this effort should contribute to that trend. It has widespread U.S. distribution.

This wine comes from the Masi family who have been in the Italian wine business for three generations. They emphasize consistency and good quality-price ratios, asserting their operation is “big enough to be broad-minded. Small enough to care about the details.”

While the family has owned an estate for more than a century and make wine from their own grapes, for the bulk of their wine operation they are négociants. A négotiant is a wine merchant who assembles the production of small growers and winemakers and sells the product under the négociant’s name. While it is common in France and some other countries, it is not common in Italy. Most of the grapes in the Masi family operation come from the Rufina area east of Florence, but the pinot grigio grapes for this effort come from Sicily.

Many people think pinot grigio is simply the Italian name for pinot gris, and while it is true they are made from the same grape, the two styles are distinctly different. Pinot grigio typically is light, dry or extra dry (which means there is a hint of sweetness), and crisp with good acidity because the grapes often are harvested early to capture acidity and tone down the fruitiness. Pinot gris, on the other hand, is fuller in body, fruitier, spicier, has less acidity, and has an oily texture in the mouth.

La Bastarda Pinot Grigio 2015 is tasty, easy-to-like, fun wine at great price point. $8-9

Masi wine website

Other photo: Masi family in their barrel room.