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 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.