December 2016 Selection

Pinot Noir in Italy: beyond the Alto Adige

December 2016 Selection

Grosjean Pinot Noir 2015 (2 bottles)
Castello di Cigognola 'More 2012 (2 bottles)
Paolo e Noemia D'Amico Notturno dei Calanchi 2013 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £90.64
Club Discount Price: £79.20
You save: £11.43 (12.61%)

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About this selection...

As difficult and demanding as they come, the Pinot Noir is far from being an accessible and immediate variety, not only for those who grow it but also for those who enjoy it. Seductive and elusive, fragrant and dark, at one and the same time. A grape whose delicate and explosive character doesn't usually allow any half measures among consumers: you either love it or loathe it.

The Pinot Noir isn't a new variety in Italy, but its popularity has been limited predominantly to the Alto Adige region, where it can be found in all its elegance in mountain wines that are refined, very palatable, floral, fruity and velvety.

Yet so many more nuances of the Pinot Noir exist in Italy. Although the Alto Adige is an ideal region for its cultivation thanks to its climatic conditions, the Pinot Noir also gives rise to fine and excellent wines in other parts of the country.

Following this variety's trail through Italy, we find it in other regions where it assumes the right balance between its own identity and the characteristics of its adopted terroir. So we can enjoy it in the Aosta Valley, where it's graceful, elegant and exposed to the sun; in the Oltrepò Pavese denomination, revealing itself powerful and sincere in a sparkling Blanc de Noirs; and in Umbria, where it comes into contact with the land's minerality to show us all the nobility and fineness it's capable of.

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Grosjean Pinot Noir 2015 (2 bottles)

Red. Grosjean Valle d'Aosta, Italy Pinot Noir

Bottle: £8.28 club members / £9.73 non-members

The influence that Burgundy has historically had on the Aosta Valley, formerly owned by nobles from beyond the Alps, doesn't strike one as surprising, considering the quality of this area's Pinot Noir. Such high quality that it sometimes seems more appropriate to call it a native variety rather than an international one. The Pinot Noir of Grosjean Frères, in the municipality of Quart, grows in exceptional vineyards situated at between 600 and 850 metres above sea level, where it reaches excellent ripeness thanks to optimal daytime temperatures and perfect exposure to the sun.

The must ferments in large oak barrels where it will then age for the next 8 months. This gives rise to a Pinot Noir whose personality becomes evident right from its subtle ruby colour. On the nose it appears fragrant, with fruity whiffs of strawberry and raspberry, afterwards followed by other more evolved notes of leather and toasty touches.

On the palate, it comes over as sumptuous, perfectly balanced, with vegetal hints and tannins present yet mostly velvety. A wine of remarkable character that conveys the mountains and the heroic, organic viticulture. A wine which in the next few years will be a real delight for the fortunate few who manage to get hold of a bottle. 3,500 bottles of pure power and nobility.

  • Alcohol content: 13,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Grosjean Pinot Noir 2015
Front and back

Castello di Cigognola 'More 2012 (2 bottles)

Sparkling. Castello di Cigognola Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico, Italy Pinot Noir

Bottle: £12.75 club members / £14.49 non-members

In the impressive 13th Century fortress of Cigognola Castle, between Broni and Casteggio, in the Oltrepò Pavese region, the Moratti family are undertaking one of the most commendable and high quality enterprises in this area, counting on the collaboration of such a wine-making star as Riccardo Cotarella. The winery possesses some splendid lands here, generating annual yields of approximately 75,000 bottles. This limited production takes into account the winery's selective processes and the overall context of Oltrepò's renaissance in terms of quality, since today the region is well respected and admired for its wines.

'More is this company's emblematic wine, a Pinot Noir vinified in white and eventually sparkling after a second fermentation in bottle. A very fine sparkling wine that shows exactly why this product has become the most emblematic and important in the region, and which fuses the typical character of the local Pinot Noir: powerful and structured, but fresh and accessible too.

A classy wine, resulting from a long maturation of 36 months on its lees, with a delicate and persistent string of beads, and the classic golden glints of premier Blanc de Noirs. It offers fruity aromas of apple, pear and plum, along with other more evolved notes of ripe plums, candied citrus fruits, light toasty whiffs and, naturally, hints of bread crust typical of this denomination, the Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico. Sustained and very long on the palate, it's penetrating and flavoursome, with a very pleasant sensation of freshness, together with balsamic hints and an enveloping elegance.

  • Alcohol content: 12,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 4ºC and 6ºC

Castello di Cigognola 'More 2012
Front and back

Paolo e Noemia D'Amico Notturno dei Calanchi 2013 (2 bottles)

Red. Paolo e Noemia D'Amico Umbria, Italy Pinot Noir

Bottle: £18.56 club members / £21.10 non-members

Experience, elegance and exclusivity are key concepts in the work of Paolo and Noemia d'Amico and, thanks to them, the challenge of expressing a variety so noble and difficult as the Pinot Noir has been well met. As regards the popularisation of the Pinot Noir in Central Italy, the Amico family's winery has been operating since 1985 in the heart of the Tuscia region, between the "Calanchi" area and the Umbria, Tuscany and Lazio borders. Here the vineyards grow on soils rich in volcanic tufa, a light, porous rock which has also been included in the architecture of the magnificent winery.

In these soils, at an altitude of 550 metres, grows the Pinot Noir that gives rise to Notturno dei Calanchi. A wine which makes refinement and elegance its bywords, right from the bright ruby colour we perceive in the glass. On the nose it exhibits a fragrance of fleshy fruit and cocoa, followed by other mineral hints. Flavoursome on the palate, emphasising its minerality, broad and balanced, with some perfectly integrated tannins in its silky texture.

Notturno dei Calanchi is undoubtedly a characteristic product of this exceptional land, but also of careful ageing that takes place for a year in barrels, some new and some used. A single varietal Pinot Noir whose character and elegance place it amongst the most refined examples of this variety in Central Italy, providing yet another instance of its adaptation to this location.

  • Alcohol content: 14,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Notturno dei Calanchi 2013
Front and back

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