Podere Monastero La Pineta Pinot Nero 2012, Toscana

Tasting – and sometimes even drinking, yes – quite a lot (or too much) Pinot Noirs year in, year out, one might be endangered to fall for a feeling of certain indifference or even tedium. Emphasis on the term "might“, of course! Don't worry, I will never truely get bored of Pinot Noir. I am absolutely certain of that! I'm aiming to get somewhere else. Sometimes you might be privileged to have something in your glass (in this case in a not so much loved Zalto) which was different! Different in good! I like different! Actually, I pretty much adore different because it spices up life and conveys you to new places/directions etc. This different, this different in good … in very damn good actually, I had in my very Zalto about a month ago. I am not shy to admid that I do like Italian Pinot Noirs from Lombardia, Trentino, Alto Adige or even those rather pithy, animal'istic, complicated (especially during childhood and teenage years), acidic and tannic fellows from Tuscany as well as Umbria. The Pinot I am refering today originated from Tuscany ... without being too pithy, rustic or whatsoever. To be more precise it originated from Tuscany's heart Chianti ... although my La Pineta Pinot Nero 2012 from Podere Monastero is naturally not permitted to be named Chianti for obvious reasons. In 2000 the oenologist Alessandro Cellai started to cultivate Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines in pine groves (therefore its name La Pineta) near Castellina on an overall surface of three hectares at an elevation of roundabout 500 meters above seal-evel. The soils in his vinyards are dominated by limestone. The Pinot Noir clones from French origin were very carefully selected to fit the natural surroundings of the Chianti region. In 2006 the first Pinots from about 1,5 hectares were produced. Merely 875 bottles!!! Since then each vintage were fermented with natural yeasts in temperature controlled (26° C) Allier vats and subsequently aged for 12 months in 100% new Allier barriques with medium toasting.


Quinta de Sant'Ana Pinot Noir 2014, Lisboa

With today's post my absolutely non-disturbing Pinot-dependency is getting more and more obvious! I really must be totally Pinot-driven! Well, to most of you this won't be real news. Anyway, but who on earth is drinking Pinot Noir from a wine country with such a rich and diverse bounty of grape varietals like Portugal??? This, or something like this, must have been on the mind of the clerk in a rather well known wine shop in Lisbon a couple of weeks ago when I explicitly asked for all Portugese Pinot Noirs they have. Perhaps he even had something a bit more "graphic" on his mind. Well, I surely would have deserved such thoughts. Ok, let's stop this Pinot-induced-paranoia and conclude with another filling anyway … Today's Pinot Noir is my third from Portugal in total. The first one was the remarkable Casal Sta. Maria Pinot Noir 2011 a bit north-west of Lisbon. And there was Niepoort's slightly tricky Projectos Pinot Noir 2011 from Douro region. Today, I am back in Lisboa. Round about 30 minutes north of the Portugese capital the Quinta da Sant'Ana produces an assessable range of wines made from quasi locals like Verdelho, Alvarinho or Touriga Nacional as well as "aliens" like Merlot, Pinot Noir and Riesling since the year 2004. The grapes for my Pinot Noir were culitvated on steep slopy calcareous-clay soils in a quite cool hill region just about 12km from the Atlantic Ocean. The grapes were hand-picked, partly crushed by traditional foot treading in Lagares and macerated before allowing natural yeasts to begin the fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The subsequent one year ageing took place in used French barriques. And here we go. Pinot No. 3 from Portugal ...


Biu de Sort Negre Pinot Noir 2015, Costers del Segre

INOX and Pinot Noir aren't a very fashionable combo these days, I think. Well, at least in case of sincerely mentionable wines of certain quality. Living in south-west Germany I am perfectly aware that there are plenty of Pinots which were fermented and aged in stainless steel ... and possibly even heated-up in steel. I really don't want to get into details. It's just too sad ...Today, I would like to refer to a respectable Pinot which were simply kissed by cold steel. I have to admit, I don't know many. On a recent trip to Barcelona I had the pleasure to encounter such a respectable one. The Biu de Sort Negre 2015 produced by Batlliu de Sort in the small Catalan wineregion of Costers del Segre is one nice example that Pinot from steel can be pretty enchanting. First, let me tell you something about Costers del Segre. I assume that not every wine geek on the globe is all too familiar with this relatively new wine region (DO was est. 1988). Costers del Segre is located in the province of Lleyda in the very west of Catalonia. It is a rather scattered region which stretches out over the entire central west of Catalonia (approx. 4500 hectares). The climate of the region is somehow extreme. In winter it is getting easily below 0° C. In summer equally easily over 35° C. Heavy rainstorms (aka snowstorms), droughts, hail and spring frosts are well know as well. The soils of the region are dominated by meagre dark lime soils. So were the vines for the Biu Negre 2015 cultivated on calcerous soils at an elevation of approx. 850 m above sea-level in Sort - Pallars Sobir√† (right next to Andorra) which is by the way already in the high Pyrenees. Fermentation took place in large INOX deposits and subsequent ageing in INOX took about 10 months. Let's have a look how this Pinot made in steel was ...