Not just great Pinot Nero: a fantastic Riesling from the Oltrepò Pavese

The Oltrepò Pavese, land of Bonarda and Cruasé, land of Pinot Noir vinified as still and sparkling white wines, land of Buttafuoco and Classese, and many other wines. But the Oltrepò Pavese is also part of the relatively narrow map of Italian wine zones where Riesling can be produced (and, obviously, I’m talking about Rhine Riesling, called Riesling Renano in Italian, and not Riesling Italico) and indeed is bottled with incontestably excellent results.

With this splendid village of Mairano di Casteggio as its backdrop, the wines produced by the Fracce winery are an impeccable example of this. In fact, I’d hazard to say that Le Fracce is one of the best producers — if not the best producer — in the appellation.

At Le Fracce, the winemaker is not content with simply producing a superb Pinot Nero and two other red wines — Bohemi and Cirgà — which represent two of the greatest expressions of Lombardy’s and the Oltrepò Pavese’s red wines (made with Barbera, Croatina, and Pinot Nero). No, the winemaker at Le Fracce also makes a wine that speaks for itself, a top-level white wine, which delivers grand nobility and elegance.

A truly special wine: Oltrepò Pavese Riesling Renano “Landò” (“Landò” is a proprietary name that first appeared on the label for the first time in 2001, an homage to Count Fernando Bussolera, owner of the property and proud patron of a collection of 18th-century landau carriages). The winery has worked for more than 20 years to produce this monovarietal expression of the German grape. The estate has 3 hectares planted to Riesling, from rootstock carefully selected from Alsatian clones. The soils are calcareous and calcareous clay, with western exposure, at 250-350 meters a.s.l., all lying in the township of Mairano di Casteggio. The first plantings were made in 1986. More vines were planted in San Biagio di Casteggio in 1994. The two growing sites reveal distinctly different characteristics, with varied ripening, and they give the wine a complexity that makes it stand apart from other Italian-grown Rieslings and a truly surprising aging potential.

—Franco Ziliani

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One thought on “Not just great Pinot Nero: a fantastic Riesling from the Oltrepò Pavese

  1. Pingback: An Oltrepò Pavese Riesling that commands our attention « Do Bianchi

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