A Wine Lover’s Near Weekly Review Of $15 Wines – A Pinot Noir From Veneto, Italy

I’ve tasted quite a few Pinot Neros (Italian Pinot Noirs) over the years but offhand can’t remember any coming from the major wine producing Veneto region of northeastern Italy. The Lamberti winery was established in 1964 on the shores of Lake Garda. They have 27 hectares (over 60 acres) of vineyards and do seven lines of wine including low alcohol and fizzy ones. This region is known for its Amarone, a specially vinified wine whose origin is some pretty pedestrian grapes. I’m in the mood to review another Amarone but you won’t find one at this price point. Our companion wine is another Pinot Noir from another perhaps surprising country, Germany. And it costs a few dollars less.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Lamberti Pinot Noir Delle Venezie IGT 2011 12.5 % alcohol about $12.

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials. “Tasting Note : bright ruby red colour; light aroma of cherry and spice; light in body with red berry and cherry flavours. Serving Suggestion : serve with salmon and mushroom risotto.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was slightly too sweet with weak acidity at first that stepped up to normalcy later but not unpleasantly so. This all ended with the taste of earth. In the presence of homemade vegetable soup, the liquid was close to absent. When I added a liberal dose of Yemeni jalepeno pepper sauce some black cherries emerged in my glass. The main dish was homemade Sheppard’s pie. In response the fermented grape juice was long, tasting mostly of dark cherries but it was too sweet. The side dish was unskinned roasted eggplant brimming with garlic that managed to remove the offending sugar from my glass. I sensed a fine balance between the wine’s acidity and light tannins. Fruit juice candy for dessert initially weakened the liquid. I noted balanced acidity and a bit of earth.

The second meal began with fairly tasteless Japanese rice crackers, but our Italian friend became full-blooded bursting with black cherries and great acidity. A barbecued chicken leg with a paprika dusted skin made this libation taste of dark cherries and light salt. The companion chicken breast changed nothing. The veggies consisted of green beans and onions in a tomato sauce. In response the Pinot Noir was dark and earthy. Fresh raspberries for dessert imparted a pleasant sweetness to this wine.

The final meal centered on beef and chicken meatballs that were spiced with cumin, coriander, black pepper, and allspice. The liquid came out sweet but almost tasteless. And its acidity was weak. Boiled beets rendered our liquid fairly spicy and appropriately acidic but light. When paired with zesty guacamole this juice became long and balanced.

Final verdict. I will not be buying this wine again. There are just too many good ones out there.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but drinking fine Iwine with good company. He loves teaching computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. His Italiian  travel website is http://www.travelitalytravel.com .

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