The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2015

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march 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  63 to maintain the natural essence of the grape. Barone Fini currently imports three wines to the United States through its equity partner, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits. They include an Alto-Adige DOC and Valdadige DOC Pinot Grigio and a Merlot from the Trentino area. The vineyards for Barone Fini's Pinot Grigio average 25 to 30 years old and are steeply terraced making hand-picking a necessity, which in turn, also helps maintain the quality of the fruit picked. The Trentino DOC Merlot is also handpicked from 15 to 28 year old vineyards near Lago di Garda and vinified only in stainless steel to help retain the acidity and minerality that is a hallmark of the region's wines. The Key to Success Good grapes and good winemak- ing both lead to good wines, so what sets Barone Fini apart? "We offer a high-quality DOC Pinot Grigio at the price of a lower quality IGT wine, making Barone Fini a no-brainer for by-the-glass programs in restau- rants," says Bonmartini-Fini. Barone Fini Pinot Grigio also has a delicate taste profile and is incredibly versatile with food. It has the ability to enhance delicate or even robust cuisine, which is key for on-premise establishments. With that in mind, Barone Fini and partner Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, who have worked together since 1998, have focused mostly on restaurants and maintain a 70%/30% on-premise to retail ratio. This formula seems to be paying off. This year, Barone Fini sold over 100,000 cases in the U.S., and all three wines are getting great traction where it counts most: in restaurants and behind the bar. Barone Fini is currently one of the top five Pinot Grigio brands on wine lists at the most popular Zagat-rated restaurants from around the country. As for his passion for Pinot Grigio in general, Bonmartini-Fini says. "I've always believed that Italian Pinot Grigio is a noble grape that can make a wonderful, complex wine, and I want everyone to get the chance to taste that. My family has a 500 year old winemaking history and I have a personal obligation to carry on that tradition, making sure that what goes in the bottle is made to the highest standards." "Pinot Grigio is a noble grape that can make a wonderful, complex wine, and I want everyone to get the chance to taste that." Barone Fini 2013 Pinot Grigio, Valdadige DOC (SRP $11.99) Soft, round mouthfeel, with hints of apple and tropical fruit. Moderate acidity lends a balanced crispness and long finish. Handpicked fruit from 25–30 year old vines. Barone Fini 2013 Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige DOC (SRP $16.99) Medium to full-bodied with hints of apple and pear, layered with spice and herbs in the nose and finish. Good mineral structure and acidity make for a well-balanced, versatile food wine. Handpicked fruit selected from 25–30 year old terraced hillside vineyards. Barone Fini 2012 Merlot, Trentino DOC (SRP $11.99) Deep color, velvety tannic structure, and typical Sarca Valley (Lago di Garda) minerality envelop ripe cherries and plums. Six months in stainless steel, then one year in bottle before release; no oak. Handpicked from 15-to-28-year- old vines. Tasting Notes

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