16/SEP/2017 in Wines
Côte de Nuits? Champagne? AltoAdige/Südtirol? Oregon? No. Gambugliano! Pinot Noir: a journey to discover one of its best performers
Spring 2017. Four friends with some shared passion. A Saturday morning that promises rain, we leave early towards the Opificio del Pinot Nero, the creative laboratory of Marco Buvoli. We want to arrive more than punctual so as not to miss one minute of this guided tour with tasting, booked a few weeks before. We arrive and Marco's relaxed and sincere welcome makes us realize that it will be a special experience. We are in Gambugliano, hill, province of Vicenza.
Marco wants to point out one thing from the beginning: "forget the bucolic vision of the countryside that most of those who live in the city have". Mother Nature is more often severe than loving. Walking in the vineyards, he explains in short his biodynamic viticulture, which so far has given him excellent results, above all from the point of view of plant health, which is the main objective.
All Pinot Nero vines. Probably the only vine that gives its best in both declinations: steady red and sparkling wine. It is also a very delicate grape to be cultivated because of its thin skin. Production is around 10/12 thousand bottles per year.
All sparkling wines (classical method) are cuvée, also composed of eight different harvests and obtained by a dynamic ageing method. 1/3 of the wine contained in each barrique (or tonneau) is taken from each barrel and then refilled with the wines of the latest harvests.
After a short and necessary passage in the area dedicated to winemaking, we find ourselves in the charming tasting room with this beautiful all-glass panoramic wall. Outside the weather is getting blackened and this makes the atmosphere even more pleasant.
Let's start with Brut Tre, the puppy at home. Only three years of aging on yeasts. Beautiful minerality, fruity (intensive) and floral. Remarkable structure and acidity but equally soft and silky, especially in the effect of bubbles on the palate.
We continue with the Rosé Brut Tre. A few hours in contact with the skins to get this color loaded (saignée) and elegant. Again a three year stay on yeasts. Typical are the varietal notes of Pinot Noir, which can be traced back to small red fruits such as wild strawberries and blueberries.
The Super-Sei Extra Brut is a decisive change of gear. Here, the rest on yeasts is over six years. And the intensity of the color faithfully anticipates it. Very complex and an extraordinary structure with excellent drinkability.
The Rosé Sette Extra Brut is perhaps the best expression of a sparkling wine based on Pinot Noir. The seven years of aging offer us obviously mature sensory paths, of a complexity and intensity never before found in a rosé.
Now time for a pause? More or less. As an intermezzo we remove the cap of a Pinot Noir, a still red version, vintage 2013. Empathy is now uncontainable also because we have understood from the beginning that those present are all travelers who go in the same direction.
Usually the tasting of Buvoli sparkling wines ends with the 10 e Mezzo Extra Brut, which has been refermented in the bottle for 126 months. A giant that I had the honour to taste a few months ago. But we are offered an alternative: Brut Otto. Stop on yeasts for over eight years but, fantastic, this bottle is from 2009! So we have an eight+eight ahead of us.... and how can we say no! There is a bit of understandable tension at the moment of opening because it is always hoped that first of all the cork has lovingly done its duty. The cork is perfect, we also thank God for the good luck. The first sip makes everyone stay silent but you feel that the gods above us are speaking. The emotion, however, becomes immediately uncontrollable. We are taking part in a great moment and perhaps unrepeatable in many respects. The length in mouth is endless, surprising. Oxidative notes are of an elegance never found before. I'm in front of one of the best sparkling wines I've ever tasted.
What to add? Experience to do at least once … a year!