Wine Geek Recommended
Meet the CoolVines Wine Geek! He’ll guide you toward – or away from! – wines that have a unique flavor profile: intentionally oxidized wines, earthy, stinky wines, wines with a bit of fritz on the tongue. Look for him throughout our web site, and on the shelves in our stores, to point the way toward these geeky wines.
Pezzalunga is a blend of 35% Barbera, 35% Bonarda (Croatina), 15% Uva Rara, 10% Pinot Nero, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes are hand harvested in different periods and vinified separately with no addition of sulphur dioxide. Fermentation takes place at a temperature not exceeding 30 degrees Celsius. After primary fermentation, the wines always undergo malolactic fermentation. Blending does not occur until November, so that the best balance can be achieved.
Pezzalunga is probably the wine most typical of the Oltrepò Pavese region, though this is a relatively modern rendition. It is bright ruby in color; its bouquet and flavor profile is well fruited, elegant and well-balanced. This red wine is delightful with all traditional dishes.
At the beginning of the 18th century, the Pezzalunga hill was already described, in an inventory drawn up by the Barnabites, as land planted to vine. The Azienda Agricola Vercesi del Castellazzo has its own vineyards precisely on these hill slopes. The estate covers some 20 hectares land - composed of marly clay soils. Since 1995, the winery has complied with EC legislation on the reduction of environmental impact. Their agricultural practices are designed to safeguard nature; vineyards are completely grassed; no herbicides are used; vine cuttings are shred in order not to deprive the soil of nutrients; copper and sulphur are the only fungicides employed. Their focus is on achieving the best quality by means of practices such as short pruning and cluster thinning, i.e. a low per-hectare production. 18 hectares out of a total of 20 are planted to specialized vineyards facing South. The grape varieties include: Croatina, Barbera, Pinot Noir, Ughetta and Cabernet Sauvignon, with a planting pattern of 7000 plants per ha; the Guyot and the spurred cordon training systems are both used. Similarly, the wine production focuses on respect for grapes and the wine they yield: wines are 100% natural. They do not use sulphur dioxide in vinification, and only tiny amounts of it are employed in the bottling process. The estate relies only on wild yeasts – i.e. their own yeasts - instead of cultured ones and all cask-aged wines are not filtered.
Oltrepo Pavese DOC (meaning Pavia across the Po) is perhaps the most traditional wine zone in Italyâ€™s northernmost region, Lombardy. It is located in close proximity to Milan, and borders the regions Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont. Similar to Piedmont, this area was for centuries under the rule of the House of Savoy. Evidence of its viticultural heritage goes back at least 3000 years â€“ a dated imprint of a cluster of grapes was once found on a sandstone rock in the district.
The vineyards of the Oltrepo zone sit among the foothills between the Apennines and the river Po in the provinces of Alessandria, Genoa and Piacenza. The vines benefit from an excellent microclimate (thanks to its proximity to the Po), well-drained soils rich in clay and calcareous marl, and a terroir often compared to that of Barolo. Oltrepo produces more than half of the wine coming from Lombardy and is not far behind Asti and Chianti in terms of volume of production. The area is also considered the Pinot Noir capital of Italy, as there are almost 9880 acres (4000ha) of this variety under vine. Although the climate here can lead to this grape ripening too early, it is well suited to the Pinot Noir needed for the sparkling wines; picked at the early stages of skin ripeness, Pinot Noir displays a good balance of acidity and sugar required for these wines.