Italy takes on Pinot Noir... Meet Pinot Nero

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

Italy takes on Pinot Noir, only it is not new. Much as it may seem like something of a novelty in this part of the world, Italy (along with Austria, Germany and, of course, France) has been making Pinot Noir for at least 900 years, give or take a decade here and there. 

Pinot Noir is known as Pinot Nero in Italia, the country with the largest number of grape varieties in the world, most of which are indigenous, such as Barbera, Corvina, Fiano, Freisa, Greco di Tufo, Lagrein, Molinara, Montepulciano, Nebbiolo, Negroamaro, Nerello Mascalese, Nero d'Avola, Rondinella, Sangiovese, Sussumanielo, Timorasso, Verdicchio and Vermentino, among countless others. None of them are household names in the way that, say, Chardonnay and Merlot have become.

But are these grapes really indigenous to Italy? They are considered to be today but Italy has a strong Greek and Dalmatian influence, especially in the south, which is considered to be the gateway for many grape varieties to the stylish Italian boot, even if their original introduction took place many moons ago.

The purpose of this blog is to introduce you to a couple of newcomers in New Zealand, which are a little more familiar to us than many of those exotic names above. 

The two wines featured here are both relatively new in store at Regional and in this country. Both are made in Italy but from an interesting part of the country, which was originally part of Austria. It is called the Sudtirol and is also known as the South Tyrol. This mountainous region is incredibly beautiful and has been home to Pinot Nero grapes for a long time, although prior to World War One and the annexing of the region to Italy, this grape would have been known as Blauburgunder. These two wines cast a very different, although still recognisable take, on Pinot Noir as we know and love it. 

If you are a Pinot Noir fan, these are must try wines. 

Pinot Nero in store... newcomers from Italy

2019 Praepositus PInot Nero Riserva Sudtirol RRP $72.99

This stunning Italianesque take on Pinot Noir drinks beautifully now with its velvet smooth texture and great depths of flavour with bright bold red fruit and macerated cherries, expressing Pinot Noir at its best from the highest altitude vineyard in Europe, in the very north of Italy. This winery has been making wine since 1142.

The Abbazia di Novacella winery is one of the oldest wineries in operation in the world and has been making wine for nearly 1000 years from terraced vineyards at an altitude of 600 metres above sea level in the steep hills of the Tyrol. This wine is one of our most impressive Pinot Noirs in store; known correctly as Pinot Nero.

Buy here

2020 Manincor Mason Pinot Noir Sudtirol RRP $69.99

Manincor Pinot Noir is an excellent expression of ripe, gently fruity and silky Pinot from the Sudtirol in northern Italy. It comes from a top wine producer with history dating back centuries. The word Manincor means hand on heart. 

This savoury, full bodied, biodynamic Pinot Noir is made with grapes grown on the Mason Vineyard, a south facing site with elevation of 400 to 450 metres above sea level, giving the grapes more intense sunshine. Grapes were given spontaneous fermentation in oak with two weeks on their skins and minimal plunging, followed by 16 months ageing in oak, 16% new. 

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