ITALIAN WINE LOVER IN USA
I have spent almost three weeks in the USA lately, promoting the project Italy Dream Golf I share with my Italian Hall of Fame golfer Giulia Sergas.
In these days we’ve travelled Arizona, Texas and California, playing golf, meeting friends and introducing our Company to several Country Clubs.
I’ve had the opportunity of learning a lot about the States we’ve visited and their citizens, by speaking with them about politics, economics, aspirations, hopes and fears of territories too often ignored by the international medias, mainly focused, in my humble opinion, on rumors and perceptions that are prevalently expression of a well circumscribed East Coast.
I strongly believe that no voice should be ignored while assessing a convoluted scenario such as the politics of a Country that is also a continent, and surely no wine of a “new continent” should be left behind for a mere snobbism towards non-European enology.
We may lose great surprises indeed.
Among the many tastings I’ve enjoyed (thank you Pat, your cellar really needs a congruous refill after our days in Austin!) there have been wines from a region that really captured my attention: the ones from Russian River Valley, California.
This area, nested between Green Valley and Chalk Hill, benefits from the sea mist and breeze blowing from the Sonoma Coast. This two factors make the valley subjected to significant diurnal temperature variations, thus enhancing the growth of chardonnay and pinot noir. If that climatic privilege wouldn’t be enough, here comes another bliss, with layers of volcanic ashes that developed through the ages deposits of the so called “Goldridge and Sebastopol soil”.
While chardonnays from Russian Valley were extremely good, but not significantly peculiar, the pinot noirs made me literally jump on the chair.
We were indulging on a sybaritic banquet on the lake Austin shores, when my friend Pat, our host, opened a few bottles of 2013 DeLoach Vineyards Estate and poured me, smiling, a generous glass. I confess I had no idea of what I was about to drink and, if I must say, the golden fleur de lis on the black label made me think about a kind of pretentious French recall. How stupid is being aprioristically skeptical, how awfully wrong I have been, waiting for the typical burgundy pinot noir notes (poultry guano above all).
The first smell left me speechless. Sure there were black cherries and red fruits, alongside with herbs gently suggesting a long aging potential, but the jaw dropping surprise were the flowers.
A stunning and pervasive violet welcomed my nose, immediately followed by what I perceived being a minor note of jasmine. I closed my eyes and I could not believe I was drinking a pinot noir, as the nectar I was sipping was radically different from every other one I’ve had in my life.
On the palate, cherries, cranberries, pomegranate and baking spices, perfectly blended in a subtle acidity, gently carried me towards a tannic closing, declaring again how young the wine was, despite its balance and yet maturity.
We’ve had other Russian River Valley pinot noir, during the World Golf Championship period in Austin, and in all of them flowers bouquet really astonished me.
Among the others, allow me to suggest you the 2013 DeLoach Vineyards Estate pinot noir, black label, the 2014 Lynmar Estate pinot noir and the 2015 Portalupi Dolinsek Ranch pinot noir.