- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 17, 2007

La Vis, Pinot Noir, Trentino, 2004, $14

Pinot noir is chic these days. Everyone seems to want it, and everyone seems to be making it. Sadly, very little is very good. Pinot is a fickle grape. Thin-skinned, it dislikes too much heat, as its flavors become raisined and the resulting wines taste fat and heavy. Unfortunately, many contemporary pinots come from hot growing areas. That’s why so many of them disappoint rather than delight.

Here is a delicious exception from a somewhat unlikely place. The region of Trentino in the Italian Dolomite Mountains is better known for pinot grigio, but that grape’s darker cousin grows there also. It can yield delicious wines, especially when the grapes come from cool hillside vineyards.

This particular pinot noir is fairly light-bodied and marked more by finesse than muscle. Easy to sip, it seduces rather than overwhelms. Try it with grilled fish or light chicken dishes. When summer arrives, you even can serve it slightly chilled.

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