The 2011 Gnarly Head Pinot Grigio was mainly sourced from vineyards in the Lodi AVA of California, and a small proportion of the grapes came from Delicato Family Vineyards (Gnarly Head is their label) premium San Bernabe Vineyard (to give the wine a little extra shine) in Monterey. The front label lists California as the place of origin for the grapes and you see that any time more than one grape growing AVA was used to obtain grapes, here the grapes are mostly Lodi and Monterey. The fruit was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks and the alcohol content is 12.5% on the bottle label and 13.5% on the brand tech sheet.
The color is a very pale golden yellow. The nose is delicate and pretty, somebody should make a perfume out of this, peach and pear, sweet pineapple, pink grapefruit, violets and apricot. There is a pleasing, silky, somewhat substantial mouth feel. It tastes of grapefruit mixed with tangerine, fresh squeezed lemon and a soft hit of peach. The mid palate brings a subtle touch of minerality and pineapple juice. The acidity is part of the flavor profile and it will have you smacking your lips, not so much because the acidity tingles, but because it tastes real good. The finish is lemon and pineapple and it lasts until the next sip.
The Gnarly Head is a Pinot Grigio with some heft behind it and full flavor. This is not one of those subtle flavored acid bombs from Italy. A crisp, refreshing, tasty Pinot Grigio that is as at home in the fall and winter months as it is in hot weather. The Gnarly Head is a very solid $10 California Pinot Grigio.