Pignolo - Lively, dense wine with real potential

says Jancis Robinson, the renowned wine critic.

In my Merlot post I announced to write about this indigenous Friulian wine. No sorry...the story how I got another outstanding rare wine.

No, I'm not an elitist. I don't like rare wines because they are rare. But, my wine preferences include wines from autochthonous grapes...and their outstanding exemplars are often rare.

Time to out my wine preferences.

Wine genres?

I like reading and love music (from John Adams to John Zorn). Literature and music are categorized by genres. And this inspired me to think of wine genres - without naming them. Even more, I understand a wine as a story. Genre is a difficult foundation of story to wrap my mind around. And so it is for wine.

I borrowed the concrete idea from Shawn Coyne's great blog the story grid (Genre's five leaf clover).

Honestly, when I read some of the tasting notes, I need to smile about the creativity…when the wine "sings in the glass", or (a Chambertin!) "shows a nuanced smell of a wet dog pelt" (which dog - has it a name?)…

And, especially why they fit so well to this and that dish. I do not care much about this. I eat the dish and then I drink the wine. So, is it then concluding the last dish or preparing for the next? Food companion is not a genre criteria for me.

Oh sorry, I start driving onto an intellectual side row.

The five leaves of wine genres:

Length - from flash to "infinite"
Nature - from natural to absurdly constructed
Style - from "documentary clear" to dramatic (when not theatrical)
Structure - from linear to complexly nested
Content - fruit, flowers, spices, herbs, minerals, exotics...

No, I do not distinguish nose, color, taste,…

I like multi-genre wine drinking, but my favorite wines are usually medium long, natural, documentary clear, moderate complex but dense, mineral or floral (but not baroque florid).

Example from one of my favorite regions, Rhone: I give preference to North Rhone wines over Chateauneuf du Pape and the white over the red… This leads to the non theatrical white Hermitage (like the affordable Ferraton  Miaux) or the expensive Condrieu Chateau Grillet.

Pignolo fits perfect to my favorite genre. Lively but dense (I agree JR!).

How to get the Pignolo that fits for my favorite genre?

The first time I came to Cormons I had nothing than the wine books and the drinking experience of, what I call, the big label wines...Jerman, Vintage Tunina a prototype.

But, I was lucky to select Aquila D'Oro at Castello di Trussio for a wine and dine evening at this first visit. The owner of the restaurant (and castle), Giorgio Tuti, introduced us to the indigenous wines from great vintners: Ribolla from Gravner and Radikon, Tocai (now Friulano) from Vie de Romans

But at the beginning, Giorgio Tuti and us were mutually risk averse and exchanged only the "secure" opinions. Later, when we knew each other better, he rolled his eyes imperceptible when I asked for a dramatic Pinot Grigio from Ronco del Gelso…and served a documentary clear, onion-colored Pinot Grigio from Pierpaolo Pecorari instead.

My preference for Borgo del Tiglio has its roots at that time - result of guided exploration, wine by wine.

Once, Giorgio Tuti recommended "the" Rosso from Gravner and arose my love to Friulian reds.

The first Pignolo was from Dorigo. At a later visit he served a Pignolo magnum of another cult property: Moschioni. We knew already Moschioni's Refosco and Schioppettino and were surprised how clear and floral the Pignolo was.

2004, Jerman's Pignolo Special Edition for Gorgio Tuti

Giorgio Tuti has sold some land around the Castello di Trussio to Jerman. And they came to an agreement that Jerman will plant Pignolo at the most qualified corner…and Giorgio will get a special Edition of a selected year.

What I've suppressed: in less favorable years the Pignolo can be a bit rough…2004 was perfect (Pignolo's quality is volatile).

Last week, Giorgio Tuti sold me three bottles of his special edition. I will wait a few years to open it…I hope.

p.s. to share a new recommendation of Giorgio Tuti: Ronchi Ro