This article is also available in: Italian

Piedmont and its great wines have been the protagonists of our latest wine tasting itineraries.
This week, I am going to bring you back in Oltrepò Pavese, production area of the excellent Pinot Nero and native land of many famous sparkling wines.
Viticulture and culinary tradition have always gone hand in hand, according to custom and to pairing techniques where both food and wine are enhanced in the same way. In Oltrepò Pavese, cold cuts and foods prepared with animal fats represent the main ingredient of the traditional dishes. Therefore, sparkling wines do match well with them by lightening the meals.

Roberto Colombi, winemaker and owner of the winery “Tenuta Scarpa Colombi”, suggests us a classic wine, made with Pinot Nero grapes and characterized by a secondary fermentation in autoclave.
Pinot Nero is a red wine grape variety. After a careful harvesting and a precise selection, grapes are left at low temperature in close contact with the skins to avoid pigments colouring the must with a brow-red tint. This way, wine gets a white shade while absorbing all the scents of this noble vine variety.

Scarpa Colombi’s Pinot Nero vineyards lie on calcareous and clay soils in Bosnasco. Grown at an elevation of 120 meters (above sea level), vineyards are cultivated with the French Guyot system. This cane-pruned system values conveniently Scarpa Colombi’s vine variety, with a production of 6000 kilograms per hectare, allowing a smaller amount of product to absorb all the rich flavours.

Tenuta Scarpa Colombi Merlino 2013 is an interesting wine, jovial-looking. The label is bright blue with a particular script that perfectly suits Merlino, the fairy tale character from whom the wine derives its name.
The 2013 harvesting will go down in history as one of the most productive grape harvest. Great temperature ranges between day and night contributed to unexpected surprises in the wine making, especially for the production of sparkling and white wines.

I will start by saying that I tasted Merlino 2013 at a slightly higher temperature, compared to the one used during the serving (about 10°c), to appreciate better all the olfactory aspects. At sight, it is characterized by a yellow pale colour, with shades of grey, gold and green. The chrome appears complete and intact, highlighting the attention put in the farming. The olfactory examination is interesting, featuring notes of flowers and fresh fruits that appear while twirling the glass. Clearly noticeable is the flavour of unripe apple, with hints of pear and wildflowers. In the background, a light almond scent is well connected with the whole bouquet.
The tasting experience confirms the delicacy and the freshness of this sparkling wine, as well as its silky body and its long lasting aromas. It pairs perfectly aperitifs, even if more informal than a classic method sparkling wine. As flavourful wine, marries also shellfish and oven-baked fish.
A new food and wine pairing has become really fashionable recently: Pinot and Pizza. I think it is brilliant and perfectly consistent with the qualities of Pinot Nero grapes. It might make you smile but… seeing is believing!

Tenuta Scarpa Colombi srl in Bosbasco (Pv)

Appellation: Oltrepò Pavese Pinot Nero Vino Frizzante

Wine Name: Merlino

Vintage: 2013

Alcohol: 12% Vol.

Wine rating: from 74/100 to 76/100

THANKS TO Luca Bergamin


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