Happening Now Tasting 24: Ca' Di Frara Pinot Nero 2009, Oltrepo Pavese DOC

I am pretty thirsty! Thirsty for something new, something Pinot'y, something not too complicated and surely nothing sophisticated. Believe it or not, I haven't had wine or other booze for almost a fortnight. What a horrible thing to do, right!? Anyway, tonight I'd like to make a short trip to Lombardia in Central North of Italy. Besides the famously sparkling Franciacorta region, and a few other small and not so small viticulture areas, there is a DOC and DOCG (only for fizzy stuff) called Oltrepo Pavese in the Province of Pavia. The main varietals in this region are Barbera, Pinot Nero, Malvasia, Riesling, Cortese, Moscato and plenty of internationalists. And now comes the tough part of this introduction: I am honestly ashamed to admit ... tonight will be my very first Pinot Nero from there! Puhhh, I really did it! Well, let's cut the drama crap and keep it concise! This personal prime experience was produced by the well established Ca' di Frara winery. The grapes for their only still Pinot Nero from 2009 were cultivated on different calcareous and clayey vineyards throughout Oltrepo Pavese. Apparently this one is a stainless steel fermented and aged Pinot … well well well, anyway let's have a try!

8:09 pm (popped and poured)

Colour: slighty coke'ish hue, obvious indications of intermediate aging, however rather transparent and still mostly ruby

Nose: mild and a bit thin appearing truck stop coffee, nougat, minor traces of Brussels sprouts, a hint of foliage, perhaps some mild juniper, hardly any fruit so far

Taste: still alive – the most insight so far (wasn't sure after the sniffing), pretty fine acid, also rather thin coffee, no sprouts, very mild muddy earthiness, definitely juniper and far more present fruit – light dark cherry fruit; the structure is absolutely simple as well as very light-weighted, however rather balanced and definitely easy; so far no real issues with this one

9:04 pm

Nose: still pretty austere, brown-green'ish and already a bit geriatric – (over-)age it is getting more and more obvious; earthiness is gaining ground, a bit more smoke as well, besides that not so much of a change

Taste: getting a bit more herbal imprinted, fruit is getting a certain touch of cola; perhaps on its descent, well at least no positive so far

10:19 pm

Nose: loosing power and character, some cabbage allures are arising; simply over the hill

Taste: I guess the nose is a bit ahead, evo-wise; still a bit of live left, cherry fruit seems a bit too dehydrated and heat struck, the acid is getting more nervous and the earthiness seems more imbalanced'ly dusty and rough

Let's keep it short and face reality: two or three years ago this one would have been more interesting - however still pretty simple. In the first hour there was still some appeal to this Pinot Noir, later this one chose a rapid descent of imbalanced boredom. Have it sooner after release or finish it off quick and you'll have an easy drinking, solid sola-la *** Pinot, perhaps a bit dull and not really mentionable one - but absolutely not a bad one ... just be a little bit faster than me.

I had this Ca' Di Frara Pinot Nero 2009 in a Zalto Universal glass in March 2015.

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