Oltrepò Pavese, the Masterclass in New York brought to light the versatility of the Pinot Noir grown in Lombardia.

On Wednesday the 26th of October we conducted a Masterclass in New York in order to take a closer look at the potential of a land which is rich in history and viticulture: Oltrepò Pavese.

The main theme was Pinot Nero, a great resource for the area.

With seven wines in the tasting we elaborated on the versatility of this International vine which is perfectly adapted to the Pavese soil.

Oltrepò Pavese is geographically the third largest area that cultivates Pinot Noir after the Borgogna and Champagne regions.

Situated on the 45th parallel, just like the great viticulture regions of Bordeaux and Oregon, Oltrepò Pavese is an area made up of around 160 producers, bottlers and over 1,300 farm workers.

A lot of complexity dominates here thanks to the mixed cultural fusions and great influences from Liguria, Piemonte and Emilia Romagna. However, geographically it is extremely simple being divided into four valleys which give the best of themselves to the rest of the world; Valle Staffora, Valle Coppa, Valle Scuropasso and Valle Versa.

It’s important to remember that there’s only one DOCG in Oltrepò Pavese: Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico Pinot Noir and six different DOCs.

Over recent years a new type of product is attracting more collectors and new Oltrepò Pavese enthusiasts. It is Cruasé, a brand reserved for members who have identified a rosè wine produced from Pinot Noir made in the classic method.

The tasting which was conducted alongside other wine professionals consisted of two Metodo Classico wines and five Pinot Noirs all with different characteristics and approachability. The itinerary we followed was a growing crescendo of structure, sensory fullness and gustatory enjoyability.

  • Castello di Cigognola Pinot Nero dell’Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico Moratti Cuvèe dell’Angelo Pas Dosè 2015.
  • La Versa Pinot Nero Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico Collezione 2008.
  • Cordero San Giorgio Pinot Nero dell’Oltrepò Pavese Tiàmat 2020.
  • Tenuta Mazzolino Pinot Nero dell’Oltrepò Pavese Noir 2019.
  • Conte Vistarino Pinot Nero dell’Oltrepò Pavese 2018.
  • Torti Pinot Nero dell’Oltrepò Pavese Dino Torti 2018.
  • Ca’di Frara Pinot Nero dell’Oltrepò Pavese Mornico 2017.

Castello di Cicognola showed a precise, persuasive profile in the glass showing notes of magnolia, gardenia, hawthorn and mandarin blossom. Creamy, very fine bubbles and a truly polished finale of optimum craftsmanship.

La Versa Pinot Nero Metodo Classico Collezione 2008 showed a lot of energy in the glass which demonstrated complexity and character. The notes of cut grass blended with hints of asparagus, wild thyme and white pepper. Talcum and chalk dominate the secondary scene. Full bodied, soft and enveloping showing balance and pleasantness.

Following on in the tasting were the five different Pinot Neros’: Tiàmat with a fresh vision and great dynamicity, Tenuta Mazzolino Pinot Nero with great finesse and elegance, Conte Vistarino made from a selection of the best grapes in the winery and produced in a structured, intact manner, Torti confirms it place in the National winegrowing panorama and Mornico di Ca’di Frara is a performing vision of a slightly austere, layered product.

There was a lot of interest amongst the wine professionals, the tasting was dynamic, rich in dialogue and questions, really going into depth about this terroir with its  strong historical roots and which today surely deserves more space and attention in the wine world.

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