Pecchenino winery has been associated with Dogliani and Dolcetto for generations. But the wonderful territory of the Langhe, joined with human wisdom and abilities, allows us always to discover new wines made with unusual grapes such us Pinot Noir from Pecchenino.
I contacted Attilio Pecchenino before Vinitaly 2022 and we arranged to meet with the promise of trying something different, in addition to the Dogliani or Barolo produced by the winery; a family-run business since its origins, over a century ago. From the 8 hectares of vineyards originally owned by the grandfather Attilio, they today own 35 hectares, split between the municipalities of Dogliani, Monforte d’Alba and Bossolasco. The Dogliani area, where the “historic” winery is located, is typical for the cultivation of Dolcetto, the dominant grape followed by Nebbiolo and Barbera. Over the years, the winery has bought land in the municipality of Monforte d’Alba, where the second winery is also located, dedicated to the production of Barolo, as well as a number of other vineyard
ries in the municipality of Bossolasco, which is suitable for the production Alta Langa sparkling wine, with grapes such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; the last one not only for Alta Langa.
In the vineyard they work with total respect for the biodiversity and the environment, adopting a sustainable vineyard management. In the vineyards, cover crops are grown to obtain a better soil softness and avoid erosion. No herbicides are used and a green harvest is carried out at least twice per season, focusing strongly on the quality of the bunches rather than on the quantity. The organic fertilisation is incorporated in the soil and a slight surface processing is carried out to favour the water accumulation necessary for vegetative development. To fight vine diseases, treatments are planned considering the climatic trend and rainfall, copper salts are used against downy mildew and sulfur against powdery mildew. Every other activity in the vineyard is carried out manually to guarantee greater quality control.
But let’s go back to Pinot Noir, the subject of today’s story. The noblest of the French vines shares with Nebbiolo the same predilection for a cool climate and good aspects guaranteed by hilly vineyards. The grapes used to produce this wine come from two different hilly vineyards: the first one in the municipality of Dogliani at 380 metres above sea level, on a limestone-clay medium-textured soil; the other in Bossolasco at 700 metres above sea level with a loose and limestone soil.
In the cellar, the same care observed in the vineyard is guaranteed, by pursuing the highest quality at every stage of the production process. After harvesting, the grapes are chilled in a refrigeration unit at 12°C. One part of the grapes is destemmed and crushed, with the remaining part being placed whole in the winemaking tank. A four-day cold soaking precedes the alcoholic fermentation, that lasts about two weeks at a temperature of 25 ° C. After racking, the wine is stored in stainless steel tanks for malolactic fermentation and, after another racking, it is transferred into barriques where it matures for 18 months before bottling.
Let us now move to the wine tasting.
Langhe Pinot Noir 2012
The beginning of winter was mild and followed in February by huge snowfalls that favoured a good water reserve. Spring was fresh with great vegetative development, but with poor fruit set, so that a smaller number of thinning was required. Summer had a hot peak in August, but it did not result in water stress the vines, as previously the rainfall in spring was more than required. Pinot Nero harvest usually take place mid-September, to ensure healthy grapes and phenolic ripeness.
This is a ruby red wine transparent and shiny, with orange shades on the rim. On the nose, we sense hints of forest floor, mushroom, mint toasted notes then dried rose and violet, followed by a fruity reminiscence, especially cherry and plum and even jam. In the mouth, the acidity is still very well noticeable after 10 years, with a very fine tannin in a context of widespread glycericol softness. An intense and complex wine, its finish elegant and long with a balsamic aftertaste.It is a magnificent Pinot Noir, a great example of what the Langhe and human wisdom and abilities can offer us. It is a wine to pair with semi-aged cheese and meat preparations, including game.