2013 d'Amico "Notturno dei Calanchi" Pinot Nero Umbria (Previously $35)

SKU #1316452 90 points James Suckling

 Some dried-strawberry and lemon character on the nose and palate. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Shows depth and structure. Drink or hold.  (11/2016)

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Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/22/2017 | Send Email
Italian Pinot Noir is always certain to bring up discussions amongst Pinot Noir purists, although the grape has been grown in Italy for more than 150 years it has only been in the last 30-40 years that it has been taken seriously as a red variety and not just a sparkling wine grape. Pinot Noir is notorious for its persnickety need for very specific climate and soil requirements and across Italy small pieces have been planted across multiple regions. Pinot Noir is planted in Lombardy, Piedmont, Tuscany, Trentino and Alto Adige as well as the d’Amico’s vineyard is in Umbria. The d’Amico’s vineyard lies at 1800’ amongst the Calanchi along the Umbrian and Lazio border in a limestone rich soil, generally thought to be the best for Pinot Noir. I visited the winery in 2015 and met with the winemaker Guillaume Gelly, Guillaume is Alsatian and has a different take on how to make Pinot Noir, I felt really inspired by his approach. Guillaume is a vineyard first guy, and then vineyard second…he’s not interested in “making” anything he’s more of a shepherd, helping the grapes grow to their maximum representation of the particular growing year. This is still a young vineyard, only planted in 2003, and as it grows each year the depth of flavor increases and a gentler hand in the winery is necessary, the wine is aged for 10 months in a 3 year rotation of French barrique a third new, a third second passage and a third, third passage. 2013 was an excellent year, a slightly richer texture and depth than in previous years and as global warming advances their 1800’ elevation is ideal for Pinot Noir for its cooler evenings and better air flow. Try this wine with grilled lamb chops like I did!
Drink from 2017 to 2021

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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.