Travaglino, Oltrepò Pavese DOC (Lombardy, Italy) Pinot Nero Poggio della Butinera Riserva 2015

($42):  Italy is not known for Pinot Nero (aka Pinot Noir) the way it is for Nebbiolo or Sangiovese.  In the relatively cool Oltrepò Pavese region, the grape does well, as Travaglino shows with this 2015 Riserva.  Nicely concentrated, but certainly nowhere near a New World style, it delivers both fruit flavors and savory character, the latter of which is immediately apparent in the nose and carries onto the palate.  Bright acidity (it is Italian, after all) amplifies its charms, while refined tannins provide structure. It even finishes with a delightful hint of bitterness, reinforcing its Old World origins.  Drink now with grilled salmon or even beef, rather than sipping it by itself.
92 Michael Apstein Oct 27, 2020