Thursday, November 13, 2014

Monte Degli Angeli Piemonte Pinot Noir, 2011

When you think of the Piedmont region of Italy, you think of Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera. But a Pinot Noir? I saw this bottle while browsing in Plum Market in Ann Arbor, and the wine manager, Rod Johnson, a long-time friend from Village Corner, assured me it was well worth trying.

And Pinot in Piedmont makes sense. The cool climate, with morning fog, is similar to that of Burgundy and other good Pinot growing areas such as the Anderson Valley of California. And while Barolo is often considered a "big" wine, that is more because of its tannins, big flavors and ability to age. Nebbiolo actually has many similarities to good Pinot Noir: with its haunting fragrance, lively acids and complex flavor profile.

As for Monte Degli Angeli, it is a medium light Pinot color, bright and lively. I note the spicy cherry/cranberry tones of North Coast California Pinots. It's definitely not sweet, and it's definitely in the very early stages of its evolution. On the second night, it really starts to sing. Now the sweetness emerges, but there is nothing simple about it. Has a lot more grip and strength than most Pinot Noirs. And I just keep coming back to sniff and sip. Irresistible.

For $10.56? This is serious wine; I'm heading back to buy more.

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