I needed to write about this wine, not because it was life altering delicious, but because it has a cool story. The grape that makes this wine is called Piculit Neri; a grape I had never heard of. The reason for that is because it’s an ancient Italian vine that was rescued from extinction by winemaker Emilio Bulfon.  The Emilio Bulfon vinyard, located in Italy, is about 40 acres, 20 of which are dedicated to growing the Piculit Neri grape and from what I heard, it’s the only vineyard in the world to bottle this grape into wine.

I wanted to explore this grape more and found this description on Wine Searcher:

Aptly named (Piculit Neri means “small black”), the variety produces smallish grapes with a dark blue, slightly waxy skin. The bunches are typically conical and relatively tightly packed. Piculit Neri vines are most clearly identifiable in the springtime, during budding; a cotton-like down covers the buds, which are otherwise light green with a reddish tinge at the edges. A mid-ripening variety, the grapes are typically harvested in October.

The Bulfon Piculit Neri has a medium body. Definitely heartier than pinots, but not quite as full body as a cabernet. The aroma was heavy with cherry and blackberry. Its taste however, was more complex. I tasted the cherry and blackberry at first, but then a vanilla flavor presented itself, and the wine finished with smoke and pepper flavors. It was interesting to say the least.

For $20.00, this wine is an excellent value. Not only for the complex flavors, but the unique story that comes along with it. I think the Piculit Neri would compliment a salisbury steak dish, and/or wintery stew with tarragon and mushrooms. For warmer weather meals, think grilled Italian sausage, or marinaded flank steak with potatoes sautéed with onions and garlic. Bon Appetit!

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