PINOT NERO DOC: A RARE CULTIVATION IN PIEDMONT


This article is also available in: Italian

We are in Piedmont once again, specifically in San Marzanotto d’Asti at the Fratelli Rovero winery, the company we talked about a few weeks ago while introducing Nebbiaia wine. Treating the environment with the utmost respect, the company produces in its vineyards organic grapes, ICEA certified and cultivated without the use of herbicides, chemical fertilizers and synthetic products.

In the area where Nebbiolo and Barbera are the typical grape varieties, we find a Pinot Nero wine, which is well known as the main grape variety in Burgundy, in the neighbouring Oltrepò Pavese and in the mountains of South Tyrol. It is cultivated in Piedmont by a few companies and it is rare to find wine made exclusively from this grape variety.

The production area includes 118 municipalities in the province of Asti, 160 municipalities in the province of Alessandria and 93 municipalities in the province of Cuneo, 185 municipalities in the province of Torino, 28 municipalities in the province of Novara, 20 municipalities in the province of Biella, 17 municipalities in the province of Verbano – Cusio – Ossola and 7 municipalities in the province of Vercelli. According to Ministerial criteria, the minimum level of alcohol content has to be 11.5 %, while the yield per hectare must not exceed 100 quintals.

The first information about this grape variety dates back to 2,000 years ago in Burgundy, mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia encyclopaedia. The word Pinot comes from the appearance of these small bunches of grapes, which look like pine cones. It is well adaptable to cold climates, as the maturation period is shorter than the one of the red grape varieties.

The wine made from these grapes has a tenue colour, because of a thin skin – the part of the grape in which are contained the colouring pigments- that gives the final product an elegant transparency.
Lajetto is the name of the Pinot Nero made by Fratelli Rovero winery. Grapes are harvested manually at end of August, well in advance compared to the maturation of the red grape varieties cultivated in the area. The wine is immediately put in wood for the malolactic fermentation and then transferred into barrique for the maturation period over eight months.

At sight, Lajetto has a ruby colour, with reflections tending to dark red. At the olfactory examination, cherry is the first scent I notice, well combined with a sweet brandy flavour. Twirling the glass, fragrant flavours are clearly noticeable. Starting from cherries, notes of leather, cocoa and roasted coffee beans arise from the glass.
In the mouth, fruity aromas are well perceptible with a sweet and long hint of ripe fruits, almost jam. The balance between sweet, salty and bitter tastes wraps entirely the palate. The wine has a soft and pleasant long lasting aftertaste. It pairs delicate dishes, slightly savoury, such as a rabbit served with taggiasche olives and dried tomatoes.

THANKS TO Luca Bergamin

Winery: Rovero Fratelli Società Semplice Agricola di Loc. Valdonata Fraz. San Marzanotto di Asti
Appellation: Piemonte Denominazione di Origine Controllata Pinot Nero
Wine name: Lajetto
Vintage: 2010
Alcohol: 14% Vol.
Notes: Organic wine– Control system authorized by Mipaaf IT BIO 006 Agricoltura Italiana
Wine rating: from 78/100 to 80/100

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