Pale ruby color; cherry, raspberry on the nose; black cherry, raspberry, cranberry, faint vanilla on the palate.
Dry; light body; only hint of tannin; some acidity (3.5 pH); mild oak influence from 40% of the wine 10 months in French oak and remainder in stainless steel. Fairly short finish, but that finish delivers interesting fruitiness not noticed on the initial attack. Some imbalance, but easy, inoffensive drinker. Something of a meh pinot until you note the price, and then it suddenly makes sense and you have more respect for what Dos Almas pulled off here. There are California pretend pinot noirs at this price point that are pure plonk. This is not pure pinot plonk.
The Dos Almas story is best told on its website (link below). It primarily is marketing fluff, but it is well done and worth a visit. Excerpt: “Here, the Zonin family could create wines capable of merging two identities: Italian winemaking tradition and Chilean terroir, like two souls connected by a single purpose—creating perfect harmony. The quest for perfection can connect polar opposites, inspire adventurers, create visionaries and intertwine two worlds in perfect harmony. Under the watchful gaze of the North Star, the Zonin family has spent generations perfecting their wines, cultivated in vineyards in Italy’s seven finest Regions for producing wine. But this desire for perfection, for sharing the best of their winemaking heritage, could never be confined to one country.”
Dos Almas is a brand of Italian wine giant Zonin1821. Established in 1821, the family-owned Casa Vinicola Zonin is Italy’s largest privately-held wine company. You can compare it to Gallo in the U.S. Its principal wine facility is located in Gambellara (halfway between Verona and Venice) in the province of Vicenza, the ancestral home of the Zonin family. “Commendatore” Domenico Zonin put the winery on the world map. Born in 1899, he lived to be 101, a lifetime spanning three centuries. Gianni Zonin next led the company; he emphasized a green approach to ecologically sustainable viticulture and control of the wine process from vineyard through distribution. In 2014, leadership shifted to Gianni’s sons Domenico, Francesco, Michele, and Giuseppe.
Zonin USA, Inc. distributes this wine in the U.S. It is wholly owned by Casa Vinicola Zonin S.p.A. in Italy; a company with nine estates located in the seven of the most prestigious wine growing areas in Italy. The wineries of Zonin USA include Rocca di Montemassi in Maremma, Castello Di Albola in Chianti Classico, Principi di Butera in Sicily, Ca’Bolani in Friuli, Castello del Poggio in Piemonte, Il Bosco in Lombardia, Podere Il Giangio in the Veneto, Abbazia Monte Oliveto in Tuscany and Masseria Altemura in Puglia. Along with a strategic partnership in Argentina and Chile—including Dos Almas, maker of this wine. Zonin USA’s portfolio is distributed in all 50 states and more than 120 countries around the world.
Dos Almas Gran Reserva Pinot Noir, Casablanca Valley, Chile 2015 does not approach “oh, wow,” status, although its pleasing price may evoke a trill of thrill in your life. There are the standard pinot noir fruit flavors in this light wine, and it tastes like pinot noir, not a blend, and there is blessed lightness of touch with oak. It’s lightness, reserved oak, and low alcohol—12.5% ABV—means it can play well with food, especially oily fish and heavier fish like grilled salmon, pasta, and lighter meats and poultry. $10-12