Is this Pinot?

Double jacket stainless steel tanks at Bressia winery
While visiting wineries with my friends Peter LaMotte and his wife Susan from Washington DC last week, and after much tasting of mostly malbecs, an interesting discussion surfaced. We were at Bressia Winery tasting different wines from the stainless steel tanks, when Walter Bressia (owner and winemaker) joined us.

While Peter and Susan were discovering new aromas, flavors and getting inside detailed information about fine wine making, they mention that they were big Pinot Noir fans.

Walter said that pinots from Mendoza are excellent in their own fashion, but they are different from the general style´s mainstream, therefore very hard to sell in a market that already have a strong formed idea of palate parameters for this varietal.

As a challenge, he produces a small quantity (3.000 bottles) of pinot with grapes from Uco Valley (not your ideal terroir for this fragile grape), and vintage after vintage he is trying to get close to the general standard for this varietal.

"Our main distributor in the US wont carry it", Marita Bressia (Walter´s daugther, in charge of marketing and sales) comments, "this wine is not what the average pinot drinker expects".

Peter, Susan and myself founded this wine delicious, exotic and different, and concluded that it is perfectly fine to break the mold once in a while. This is what makes wine such a fantastic experience: diversity!

TASTING NOTES: This 100% Pinot Noir surprises by its color intensity, offering a deep and intense red purple color with black shades (hence its name, black skin) of attractive vivacity. On the nose, descriptors from this varietal perfectly appear: cherry, blackberry, dry tomato, rose petals and violets. Spicy but elegant, in the mouth reminders of cinnamon, rosemary, and mint, combined with coffee, vanilla and smoke reveal in layers, a side effect of the french oak barrels. Despite its structure and body, it has the right texture to pair with lamb, duck, and meats with heavy sauces like bourguignon, as well as salmon dishes, red tuna, lobster and seafood.

2009 Bressia Piel Negra Pinot Noir - From The Vines of Mendoza
From local cult wine maker Walter Bressia, this is a sweet, earthy Pinot with lively acidity and plenty of vanilla and spice on the finish. With fruit from Uco Valley, Piel Negra is an excellent display of what this region can do with this classic varietal. With fresh red fruit, floral aromas, and plenty of earth, Bressia puts out a Pinot that does the grape justice.


  1. Now if only we could get the Bressia pinot shipped direct! Fantastic post Eduardo, and a fantastic day!