2008 Hofstätter Barthenau "San Urbano" Pinot Nero (Elsewhere $79)

SKU #1132867 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 Barthenau Vigna S. Urbano emerges from the glass with dark cherries, flowers, sweet spices and French oak. Hints of licorice, smoke and tar develop in the glass, adding complexity and nuance. The Barthenau Vigna S. Urbano, the estate's top Pinot, is made in a distinctly flashy, fruit-driven style. The intense, saline finish gives the wine its energy and drive. This is another beautiful wine from Hofstatter. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.  (2/2012)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 Tart cherry scents course through this wine, layered under a firm structure that keeps all the juicy red fruit at bay. The tannins are smoky, almost radish-like in their earthy spice, the fruit lasting past them to create a honeyed note in the finish. Cellar it, or decant the wine for braised beef cheeks.  (8/2012)

K&L Notes

Old Vine Pinot Noir from the San Urbano vineyard of Hofstätter's Adige Valley estate, named after Ludwig Barth von Barthenau.

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Price: $39.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.

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