A truly excellent format to celebrate the wines from around Paviathe right number of wineries and the right number of wines for tasting... although I anticipate that I have chosen to do only the classic method sparkling wines. So I was delighted to receive as a Christmas gift the Rile Nero Pinot Nero Oltrepo' Pavese DOC 2016 by Marchese Adorno. That theOltrepò Pavese is Land of Pinot Noir is something certainly known to wine lovers, but that it is still a very virgin and 'work in progress' communication is also true.

That's why I so enjoyed Armando Castagno and Filippo Bartolotta's 'chat' in the intimate and elegant setting of DADA in Taverna Moriggi, Castello Sforzesco area of Milan. Moreover, there have been some really interesting insights and parallels with Burgundy: I am reminded, among others, of the French vigneron's attitude of indebting the family for five or more generations (assuming everything goes well and the wine sells out every year) 'just' to buy a small parcel of vineyard. Which in my opinion is unthinkable in Italian culture. Another interesting point is this very important feeling towards terroir that characterises Burgundy: for them, a wine must first of all communicate where it comes from. In my opinion, we Italians are more faithful to the vintage than to the terroir, and on this we should certainly learn from our transalpine cousins. Besides, Italy is a long and heterogeneous peninsula with a truly unique ampeleographic and pedoclimatic heritage.

Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico: tasting notes

Before I share my tasting notes with you, I want to make a premise for those who do not usually follow my wine blog. What you are about to read is a 'surgical' tasting of what is in the glass. Honestly speaking, when I taste the 'poetry' behind a glass of wine, I couldn't care less. Just as I couldn't care less if a winery has 1 hectare or 100, if it has never won an award or has won 1,000, if it does conventional agriculture or if it only harvests grapes with delicate virgin hands at the fifth full moon, if its grandfather was a third cousin of a king or a pope, or if it was the first or the last to make classic method sparkling wine.

I am interested in what is in the glass.

Then, if I visit a cellar, for example as I did with Mazzolino Estate last week or with Cigognola Castle a few months ago, I also like to tell you the story and the poem. But at a tasting counter, it is the glass that speaks. Wine has the honour and the burden of making me want to go and discover the romantic side of the winery by visiting it..

pavia oltrepo pavese bruno verdi

Bruno Verdi (Canneto Pavese, Pavia)

❤ Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG 'Vergomberra' 2012, disgorgement 2017

Brilliant straw yellow with a fine, very numerous perlage. Nice nose, with notes of pastry, butter and strawberry yoghurt that fade into wild flowers. In the mouth it is crisp, structured, with a good acid vein and a long, savoury finish.

❤ Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG "Vergomberra' 2016, disgorgement 2021

Brilliant straw yellow with a fine, numerous and persistent perlage. Wonderful nose with notes of brioche, hazelnuts, white chocolate, candied citron and some herbal notes. In the mouth creamy bubbles despite the disgorgement, acidity, structure and flavour for a long buttery finish. 

❤ Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG "Vergonberra' 2017, disgorgement 2021

Brilliant straw yellow with a fine, numerous and persistent perlage. On the nose it is very elegant with a very marked note of cumin and spices and a bouquet of citrus both fresh and jammy. In the mouth it is very consistent and spicy with excellent drinkability and lots of freshness.

pavia oltrepo pavese pinot noir manuelina

Manuelina (Santa Maria della Versa, Pavia)

Classic Method Pinot Noir VSQ Brut '137' 2016, disgorgement 21 May 2017

Brilliant straw yellow with a fairly fine and numerous perlage. The nose is very floral with just hinted toasted nuances. In the mouth it is very crisp, very fresh, acidic and fairly savoury. Fairly long finish of flowers.

La Travaglina (Santa Giuletta, Pavia)

Classical Method Pinot Noir VSQ Brut 'Martinburg' 2015, disgorgement June 2021

Straw yellow with a very fine, numerous and persistent perlage. Very (too) delicate nose with brown sugar fading into caramel. Finish of fresh and dried roses. In the mouth the bubbles are pleasant, there is a slight bitter note that continues on the finish.

❤ Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG Pinot Noir Rosé vintage 2010, disgorgement August 2021

Brilliant onion skin pink with a very fine perlage that is numerous and persistent. Exceptional nose delicately elegant with notes of butter, fruit tartlets with custard, hazelnuts, candied orange peel, barley candy. In the mouth it is very creamy, consistent and with a long finish reminiscent of orange blossom.

pavia oltrepo pavese pinot noir la travaglina

La Piotta (Montalto Pavese, Pavia)

Classic Method Brut DOCG 'Talento' 2018, disgorgement June 2021

Bright, deep straw yellow with a fine, very numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is floral and herbaceous with notes of blood orange, dandelion blossom and acacia honey. In the mouth it does not excite me, it has a hint of banana which is not very consistent with the nose. The finish is long and the bubbles creamy.

❤ Classic Method Sparkling Wine VSQ Pas Dosé '89/90' 2013, disgorgement June 2019

Bright, deep straw yellow with a fine, fairly numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is delicate with notes of butter, brown sugar, strawberries and white pepper. In the mouth it is coherent, pleasant, very savoury, with a nice length.

pavia oltrepo pavese pinot noir la piotta

Pietro Torti (Montecalvo Versiggia, Pavia)

Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG Pinot Nero Nature "Torti' 2018,  Disgorgement July 2021

Brilliant straw yellow with a fairly fine and very numerous perlage forming a persistent mousse. Very (too) delicate and not particularly complex nose with notes of white flowers and apple. In the mouth it is too aggressive due to disgorgement that is too young. Good acid supper.

Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG Pinot Nero Rosé "Torti Cruasé 2017, disgorgement July 2021

Pale pink with a fine, numerous and persistent perlage forming a persistent mousse. The nose is very pleasant, delicately elegant, with notes of yellow orange juice, candied pear, Greek yoghurt with freshly blanched strawberries. In the mouth it is still crisp but more balanced than the first, consistent, overall pleasant and drinkable. Long almondy finish.

pavia oltrepo pavese pinot noir pietro torti

Quaquarini Francesco (Canneto Pavese, Pavia)

Spumante Metodo Classico Brut 'Classese' 2014, disgorgement April 2021

Brilliant straw yellow with a not very numerous, but fine and persistent perlage. The nose is honeyed, floral and slightly spicy. In the mouth it is crisp, with a hint of strawberry and banana juice and good freshness.

pavia oltrepo pavese pinot noir quaquarini francesco

Scuropasso Winery (Pietra De' Giorgi, Pavia)

Classical Method Pinot Noir VSQ 'Roccapietra Zero' 2015, disgorgement December 2020

Brilliant, pale straw yellow with a fine perlage, numerous and persistent. The nose is delicate and elegant  with notes of white chocolate, black pepper, rose, flint, banana and wild blackberry. In the mouth, it has such a pronounced hint of ripe banana - medicinal cough syrup-like - that it makes me end the tasting as I find it unacceptable. 

❤ Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG Pinot Nero "Roccapietra Brut' 2016, November 2020

Pale straw yellow and brilliant with a fine, numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is delicate and elegant with notes of honey, brioche, white chocolate, mulberry and candied mandarin. In the mouth it is fresh, crisp, with a nice acidic vein and a fairly long chocolate finish.

Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG Pinot Nero Rosé "Cruasé' 2015, disgorgement November 2020

Pale pink with onion skin nuances, numerous and persistent. The nose is delicate and elegant, not particularly complex but pleasant with notes of white chocolate yoghurt and white flowers. In the mouth it is creamy, with excellent drinkability and sweet flavours. Long finish that shifts to a barely noticeable citrus fruit.

pavia oltrepo pavese pinot nero scuropasso

Travaglino Estate (Calvignano, Pavia)

❤ Metodo Classico DOCG Pinot Noir Extra Brut "Gran Cuvee - Blanc de Noir" 2017, disgorgement September 2021

Brilliant straw yellow with a fine, numerous and persistent bubble. Very distinctive nose is recognisable with notes of cedar, bergamot, herbs, mimosa flowers, milk chocolate, cumin. In the mouth it is consistent and very intense with a pleasant bubble despite the recent disgorgement. Long citrus finish.

 Metodo Classico Rosato DOCG Extra Brut 'Monteceresino Rosé' 2014, disgorgement September 2021

Intense, bright copper with a fine, numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is delicate and elegant, with notes of wild strawberries, vanilla, cardamom and dried apricot. In the mouth it is crisp, consistent, with an intense savoury streak and a sweet spicy finish.

pavia oltrepo pavese pinot noir travaglino

Frecciarossa (Casteggio, Pavia)

Classic Method Sparkling Wine Extra Brut 2018, disgorgement September 2021

Intense, bright straw yellow with a fine, fairly numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is elegant and delicate with notes of both fresh and candied citron, herbs, lime blossom and walnut. In the mouth it is very distinctive, with a bubble that still needs a little refining but is nevertheless very pleasant to drink. 

pavia oltrepo pavese pinot nero freccia rossa

Finigeto (Montalto Pavese, Pavia)

Classic Method Sparkling Wine '2005 Brut' 2018, disgorgement October 2021

Intense, brilliant straw yellow with a fine, fairly numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is delicate and elegant with very pleasant notes of nuts, hazelnuts, magnolia flowers, cinnamon and pepper. In the mouth it is fresh, savoury, crisp with an inevitably aggressive bubble, but it should be tasted when ready because it shows great promise. 

❤ Spumante Metodo Classico DOCG "2005 Pas Dosé" 2017, disgorgement July 2021

Intense, brilliant straw yellow with a fine, numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is fine, with notes of honey, raw chocolate, vanilla, violet, cucumber, jammy lemon. In the mouth it is fresh, savoury, crisp, with a bubble that is already finer. Excellent drinkability.

pavia oltrepo pavese pinot noir finigeto

Giulio Fiamberti (Canneto Pavese, Pavia)

❤ Metodo Classico Oltrepò Pavese DOCG Pas Dosé Rosé 'Caristoro' 2017, disgorgement March 2021

Onion skin pink with copper highlights at the edges. Fine, numerous and persistent perlage. Very delicate nose, all turning to spices, cumin, almond blossom. In the mouth it is very consistent and characteristic, crisp (bubble still needs to refine), savoury and with very long potential in the bottle. 

❤ Metodo Classico Oltrepò Pavese DOCG Extra Brut "Caristoro' 2016, disgorgement February 2021

Pale straw yellow with a fairly numerous, fine and persistent perlage. The nose is very delicate and elegant, with notes of buttered croissant, citron, blood orange juice and a touch of ginger. In the mouth it is extraordinarily drinkable, consistent, crisp, very savoury, structured and with a long finish that lives on lemon zest.

pavia oltrepo pavese pinot noir giulio fiamberti

La Versa Winery (Santa Maria della Versa, Pavia)

Pinot Nero Metodo Classico DOCG 'Testarossa' 2016, disgorgement July 2021

Pale straw yellow and brilliant with a fairly numerous, fine and persistent perlage. Delicate and elegant nose with notes of lemon peel, almonds, wild strawberries and pink pepper. In the mouth it is fresh, with good drinkability but not a very long perspective in the bottle.

❤ Metodo Classico DOCG Brut 'Collezione' 2008, disgorgement July 2021

Straw yellow with greenish reflections at the edges. Fine, numerous and persistent perlage. On the nose butter, cumin, orange blossom, lemon jam, seichuan pepper, a hint of saffron. In the mouth it is remarkable with a taste that oscillates between butter and cumin, a very pleasant bubble despite its recent disgorgement and a nice balance.

pavia oltrepo pavese pinot noir cantina la versa

Monsupello (Torricella Verzate, Pavia)

❤ Pinot Noir Brut VSQ 2015, disgorgement May 2021 

Old gold yellow with almost coppery reflections. Fine, numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is delicate and elegant with notes of dark chocolate, black cherry, orange peel and butter. In the mouth it is very pleasant, very fresh, with an almost minty finish and a good structure. 

pavia oltrepo pavese pinot noir monsupello

Alessio Brandolini (San Damiano Al Colle, Pavia)

Pinot Nero Metodo Classico Dosaggio Zero VSQ 'Luogo d'Agosto' 2017, September 2021

Pale straw yellow with greenish reflections at the edges. Fine, numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is delicate and fine, mainly floral with some spicy hints. In the mouth it is crisp, pleasant and with a nice freshness.

❤ Pinot Noir Classical Method Extra Brut Rosé 'Notes of August' 2017, disgorgement February 2021

Onion skin pink with a fine, numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is intense with a bouquet of butter, sweet spices, wild strawberries and whipped cream. In the mouth it is fresh, but the recent disgorgement here causes a really annoying bubble, a pity because it is potentially a really good wine. After all, it looks like a classic method that can age well for many years in the cellar...

❤ Cru I Ger 2014, disgorgement June 2020 

Brilliant straw yellow with a fine, fairly numerous and persistent perlage. The nose is intriguing, with notes of hazelnut cream tart, candied chinotto peel, candied pear. In the mouth it is really very good. Crisp and pleasant bubble, lots of flavour, consistent and characteristic. Long finish of candied chinotto.

pavia oltrepo pavese pinot noir alessio brandolini

I sincerely hope that these tasting notes of mine have inspired you more than just a few Christmas presents for sommeliers and winelovers. I like to imagine you around Pavia to discover the beauty of the Pavia hills. Perhaps in one of these cellars of theOltrepò Pavese tasting the classic method sparkling wines I liked best. 

Thanks finally to Francesca Seralvo by Tenuta Mazzolino (read the article I dedicated to her and find out what I think of her wines) for organising this close-knit group of producers who believe in the exceptional nature of their terroir and above all in the potential of such an extraordinary grape variety as pinot noir.

Cheers 🍷

Chiara

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