’09 Mezzacorona Pinot Noir
(Anthony “The Wine Guru” at Andronico’s on Irving)
In the summer of 2004 I picked up a job at Andronico’s on Shattuck or sometimes referred to as Store #5 (if you are an employee) in Berkeley, California. Looking back it’s kind of funny to imagine a farm kid from Michigan slinging bottles for the Macy’s of grocery stores in this bustling little college town that nurtured such talents as The Counting Crows, Timothy Leary and Rebecca Romjin. But I guess the idea that anyone can carve out a niche in the Golden State is what draws most people to California.
I’ve since moved to San Francisco and to this day remain a loyal Andronico’s customer. If you haven’t been to Store #3 on Irving you need to check it out. Pronto mi amigos. Anthony is the local sommelier (sum-ah-lee-ehh) and is well versed in Italian wines. On a recent trip to Macy’s…er Andronico’s #3 I picked up a bottle of the Mezzacorona ’09 Pinot Noir on Anthony’s recommendation. Now I wouldn’t normally think of Italy as being great for pinot, but at $9.99 was worth a shot. Overall, I have to say it’s a great wine for a mid-week intermezzo. The surprisingly chewy tannins allows the Mezzacorona to stand up to dare I say a ribeye steak. It’s got some attitude for a little wine and fruit forward finesse to boot.
The Mezzacorona vineyard is located in Trentino where the vines are planted on the famous dolomites of northern Italy that coincidentally often draw world-class rock climbers to the Alto-Adige region. As for wine production in Alto-Adige there are three grapes, one is the white Nosiola and the other two are the red Teroldego Rotoliano and the Marzemino. In addition well known international grape varietals such as Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot, Moscato, Pinot Nero, Pinot Grigio and Müller-Thurgau can also be found in this ever evolving wine region of Italy. As for the Mezzacorona winery it’s state-of-the-art facilities and modern winemaking techniques offers 100% single varietals wines which is interesting because after tasting their pinot I would swear it was blended with something on the heavier side. In the end it’s probably the Italian dolomites that give this wine it’s pronounced “oomph”.
Notebook Score: OK (Disclaimer: The Mezzacorona is not a “wow” wine by any means, but who can resist trying a pinot from Italy? For the novelty if anything.)
Notebook Question of the Evening: Where do you shop for new and exciting wines?