IGT della Venezie, Italy; 12.5% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 3 July
Northeastern Italy has given us some nice lighter, aromatic reds, so, although I had never heard of Italian Pinot Noir, I eagerly picked this up despite the corny name and label. At least on the first night, it wasn’t really what I expected.
The wine starts out with pleasant, light red raspberry and cherry fruit, but the darker and richer finish promises more with air. I think it was fully aired after about 1:45 in a decanter, when it showed flavors of dark cherry / plum, dark red or black raspberry, with some earth and spice, in a medium body. Instead of being delicate, acid, and aromatic as I had expected, it was darker, richer, and riper, although not coming close to a heavier Californian Pinot Noir. As far as flavors go, I almost didn’t recognize it as a Pinot Noir, and found it a little bland and dull.
I liked the second half (stoppered in a 375ml bottle with very little air) much better. The wine showed flavors I found more recognizably Pinot-like along the usual cherry, orange, and earth lines, and it had more of the tangy acid I associate with northern Italian reds. Anyway, for the price, I think it’s quite good and, especially if you like Italian wine, it’s definitely worth trying. I’d love to hear anyone else’s take on it.