Peter Zemmer Rollütt Pinot Noir Alto Adige DOC 2015

Garnet color with translucence; sour cherry, red berry, herb on the nose; black cherry, plum, raspberry, touch of tomato on the palate.

Nice medium-bodied smoothness and harmony; velvety balance between easy going tannins and reserved acidity. Very judicious use of oak allows purity of the fruit to hold center stage. Elegantly caresses the mouth as it presents seductive flavors; welcomed fruity encores on late-mid palate and finish. A really nice Alto Adige pinot for the price.

The Alto Adige region of northeast Italy is near the Austrian border. Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol is an autonomous region in northern Italy; until its annexation by Italy after the World War I, the region was part of Austria-Hungary. Today the region is divided into Trenito and Südtirol/South Tyrol—the latter referencing its former connection to the Austrian state of Tyrol. This wine comes from the Südtirol. “Alto Adige” is Italian for “High Adige.” The Adige is a river in South Tyrol and the second-longest river in Italy.

The general region also is called the Italian Alps. It is graced by medieval towns, alpine meadows, and glittering waterfalls fueled by meltwater from the snow-capped, towering mountains in the background of the vineyards. This wine come from the Rollhütt vineyards near the hamlet of Cortina (600 inhabitants), in the middle of the valley floor, near the Adige River (still, 1,400 feet altitude). The area and Peter Zemmer are known for superb whites; the coolness engendered by altitude also allows for pinot noir to find its pinnacles, as it does in this affordable offering.

The Zemmer family business began in 1928. The vineyard and winery are committed to environmental responsibility—all vineyards are sustainably managed; all energy needs are provided by solar panels.

Peter Zemmer Rollütt Pinot Noir Alto Adige DOC 2015 is superb value-for-price play, presenting the lightness and subtle pleasures that cool climate, adroitly oaked pinot can present. Clearly worthy of finding and giving a try. $19

Peter Zemmer website

Other photos: Peter Zemmer; Peter Zemmer winery; Peter Zemmer vineyard with Adige River background; Peter Zemmer vineyard; Peter Zemmer solar panels.