30 Second Wine Advisor: Pinot Noir ... from Italy?

Today's Sponsor

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.
Vibrant Rioja

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)

FOOD MATCH: This well-balanced, lighter-style Pinot is versatile with a wide range of dishes. I'd gladly pour it with steak, pork chops, veal roast chicken or wild salmon. It's a natural match with mushrooms, and was just about spectacular with a thick, steaming polenta topped with a broiled blanket of local cheese (Kenny's Farmstead St. Jerome) and sauteed mushrooms.

Extremely good buy in the $10 to lower teens, particularly for those who prefer the lighter, subtle style of Pinot.

The Kris Pinot Noir is the second wine listed on producer Franz Haas's English-language Web pages.

Compare prices and find online sources for Kris 2009 Pinot Noir on Wine-Searcher.com.

Today's Sponsor

Vibrant Rioja

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!

Visit us at www.VibrantRioja.com, join the community, and enter to win a case of Rioja.

Talk About Wine Online

If you have questions, comments or ideas to share about today's article or wine in general, you're always welcome to drop by our online WineLovers Discussion Group, the Internet's first and still the most civil online community. To find our forums, click:

Discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post. Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system, using your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D". Anonymous, cryptic or first-name-only registrations are discarded without notice.

Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly, you'll be able to participate in all our online wine, food and travel forums.

To contact me by E-mail, write wine@wineloverspage.com. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.

Subscriptions and Administrivia

We're sorry if you must leave us, but simply click the "unsubscribe"
link at the bottom of your Email edition to be instantly removed from the mailing list.

Change address:
The quickest and easiest way to change your Email address is simply to register anew, using the link below. If you are keeping your old address but no longer wish to get the Wine Advisor there, click the unsubscribe link below to take it off our list; if you are closing the mailbox, you needn't take any action, as our system will delete your old address as soon as the mail to your old address starts to "bounce."

Subscribe to this Email edition (free):

WineLoversPage.com RSS Feed (free):

Wine Advisor Archives:

Sponsorship Opportunities:
For information, E-mail wine@wineloverspage.com