This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Friday, Apr. 22, 2011 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20110422.php.
Pinot Noir ... from Italy?
I love Pinot Noir, particularly Pinot made in the subtle, light and food-friendly European style.
I also love Italian wines, having cut my vinous teeth on the sunny, made-for-the-table wines of Italy long before I ever dreamed of growing up to become a wine geek.
But when I think of Pinot Noir, I don't usually think of Italian wine; or vice-versa. Pinot's natural home is France, and most enthusiasts would argue that it reaches its peak (of quality and of price) in Burgundy.
Pinot Noir (sometimes rendered on Italian labels as "Pinot Nero") is certainly grown in Italian soil. But it doesn't get much market share in competition with more the traditional Italian varieties such as Nebbiolo or Sangiovese, or the many delicious Italian blends, not least the familiar and favorite Chianti.
Still, Pinot is grown in Italy, especially in the cool, higher-altitude vineyards of the North. And in modern times, reality has tossed out the old, erroneous conventional wisdom that good Pinot can't be made anywhere but Burgundy. When we run across an Italian Pinot as delicious and affordable as today's featured wine from Provincia di Pavia in the Lombardy region, near Milan, there's simply no reason not to stop, look and buy.
Today's Tasting Report
Franz Haas 2009 "Kris" Pavia Pinot Noir ($12.99)
Clear ruby, darker than a rosé but - typical of cool-climate Pinot - on the light side for a red. Good Pinot aromas, too, black cherries and a subtle note of stony minerality, lead into a fresh, flavor of tart black cherries and cranberries. Well balanced at 13% alcohol. Crisp, gentle acidity adds soft tannins in a dry, food-friendly finish. U.S. importer: Winebow Inc., NYC. (April 9, 2011)
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Rioja is pure genius for wine lovers
For people who love wine, novices and experts alike, Rioja is a guaranteed choice - in fact, pure genius.
Why? For starters, there's a style for every occasion, taste and budget, from crisp whites to refreshing rosés to robust reds, all at great value (very affordable).
Wait, there's more - every Rioja is ready to drink when purchased, providing instant gratification.
Not to mention, Rioja wines are considered by many chefs and sommeliers to be the best food-pairing wines on Earth, created to enhance food, not overwhelm the flavors.
Need more reasons? The quality is guaranteed by the DOCa Rioja, the government body overseeing production of every bottle with the highest standards, ensuring every sip will satisfy.
Try a Rioja today and discover why Rioja is pure genius. Rioja wines make great gifts too - don't be afraid to share the love!
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