Burgundy, Roero and Caucasus. Can they be together? The answer is yes. You just have to have faith in the world’s most famous grape variety. You plant it along the Tanaro River and then the juice is entrusted to ceramics. The result: Pinot Noir in amphora. The first, ever, produced in the Roero. The challenge: our almost Mediterranean temperatures. A year ago, the surprise: they stunned even “Wine Enthusiast” with the first bottles, 2019 vintage. Now, here we go again: the Marchisio Family’s amphora-aged Pinot Noir, organic and biodynamic, is traveling fast toward glory. Seriously: the northern red knows how to make its mark here, too. It confirms its unmistakable personality, made of finesse. And it is enriched with accents and roundness. Thanks to the magic of the amphora: balance and smoothness.
Food journalist Dan Saladino just wrote this. In Georgia, he discovered the “spiritual” side of the nectar that comes from ancient buried jars. That wine, he says, is considered «a form, liquid, of sunlight». Sipping it is therefore «a way of communing with God». Exaggeration? Not at all. Heaven is regularly addressed by Sergio Marchisio, the “wizard of green” in the Roero. The stars always dictate the timing: the biodynamic calendar prescribes it. «Every choice we make, starting with the burial of the horn manure on St. Michael the Archangel’s day, strictly adheres to the dictates of Rudolf Steiner». Translated: as in the Caucasus, it’s heaven itself that imparts an unmistakable soul to the Marchisio Family’s wine.
Vinified in red, Pinot Noir – in Italy – is mainly widespread in South Tyrol, in the cool Alpine climate. In other areas, such as Oltrepo Pavese, it serves mainly as a base for sparkling wine (on the French model of Champagne). Red and pure, it speaks another language. In the Roero, then, yet another: thanks to natural winemaking. And of course, of the amphora: where it ages for at least a year, before facing a further, long evolution in the bottle. Lean and slender, supported by a beautiful harmonious acidity. And with in it the warmth of the sun and the resounding aromas that come from Priocca’s biodynamic vineyard. Pinot Noir – the manuals remind us – is very sensitive to terroir: it varies greatly, depending on the area of production. The bet: make it stay itself. How? First, by anticipating the harvest based on optimal phenolic ripeness.
And here it is, the Pinot Noir in amphora created by Sergio Marchisio. «I’ve always loved great Burgundies, so I couldn’t resist the temptation to try that varietal on our hills as well». Cherry and raspberry, strawberry and blueberry. Over time, ripe fruit and notes of underbrush, leather and licorice. The secret? The sovereign harmony between elegance and richness. Tannins being contained, the “alchemical” key lies precisely in the dosage of acidity. And the final touch – soft, gentle – is the great gift of the amphora. This is how Burgundy is reborn in the Roero, thanks to the Caucasus. A way to touch the sky? Perhaps, but keeping our feet on the ground. For example, by bottling this jewel with the most jaunty of closures: the screw cap