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: Pizzini

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Pizzini

www.pizzini.com.au

Lano-Trento Vineyard, 175 King Valley Rd, Wangaratta, 3678

Cellar Door: Daily (12-5)

Ph: (03) 5729 8278

Pizzini family (phhoto courtesy: Pizzini)
label

This vino-diverse winery was established in 1980 by Fred and Katrina Pizzini.

They have been grape growers for other wineries but decided to have a go at their own wine-making. Their efforts were put at risk in 1995 when phylloxera was discovered in the Riesling and Malbec in the vineyard.

One positive spin off was that the forced uprooting allowed the Pizzinis to orientate their new plantings to new trends in Australian wine drinking, particularly the growing interest in Italian varieties.

While the classic French varieties are made here the real interest is their experiments with a range of Northern Italian varieties such as Verduzzo, Arneis, Sangiovese, Rosetto (a Sangiovese Rose) and Nebbiolo. The stand out wine for me is the Rubacuori Sangiovese the central Italian Brunello clones rather than the H6V9 clones widely used King Valley. GenXY wishes the Pizzinis well in their efforts to add to Australia's vino-diversity.

Avenmore Tastings
Sally Pizzini discussing the Pizzini Pinot Grigio at Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Pizzini White Fields Pinot Grigio 2014

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: May 2015, White Fields is the original name for the high altitude Whitfield sub-region where this wine is sourced from, floral, pure and delicate lemon sherbet and pear with citrus blossom and musky spice notes,  some savoury yeasty lees complexity, fine briny phenolics, well balanced, one of Australia’s best exponents of the Grigio style (****1/2)

Pizzini Sagrantino 2011

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: May 2015, fleshy plum and cherry with rose petal and dried herb notes, earthy and medium bodied with a firm grainy tannic spine, toasty cinnamon/cedar oak and crunchy acidity (***1/2)

Pizzini Canaiola 2013

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: May 2015, normally seen as a blending partner in Tuscan Chianti wines, second release, ruby red colour, soft cherry, redcurrant and plum with violet florals and a dusting of spice, varietal limitation is that it is not particularly long and although the chalky tannins have some grip they are rather loose knit (***)

Pizzini Prosecco 2013

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2014, crisp and light fizzy showing varietal apple, lime and pears with some lemon sherbert and a modest touch of bready lees, creamy mousse, refreshing lime rind acidity, good line and length, crown seal, drink as soon as possible (****)

Pizzini King Valley Pinot Grigio 2013

Purchased: Not ($19)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2014,  crisp nashi pear, apple and melon with some musky spices, a hint of ginger and bright lemony acidity, fairly good length with the briny phenolics providing some grip and interest on the finish (****)

Pizzini Sangiovese 2012

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2014, fleshy red cherry and dark plum with anise, tomato leaf, undergrowth and sage notes, there is a touch of fruit-cake in there although the wine is more in a savoury, medium bodied format, charry cinnamon/nutmeg oak with chalky tannins, firm, herbal edged acidity (****)

Pizzini Nebbiolo 2010

Purchased: Not ($48)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2014, earthy dark plums and cranberry with some rose petal florals, a hint of anise and musky spices, firmish medium bodied palate with  chalky Italianate tannins, good acid backbone with subtle charry oak on the finish (****)

Pizzini Rosetta Rose 2013

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2014, bright pink colour but is drier than the colour suggests, fresh watermelon and redcurrant with some rose petals and musky spice, medium-dry and savoury twist on the finish (***1/2)

Pizzini Arneis 2012

Purchased: Dan Murphys, Melb CBD ($24)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2013, the variety is from the Piedmonte region in north Italy, bright, dry and crunchy , green apple and yellow pear with acacia florals,  subtle almond-edged nuances, tangy lemon sorbet acidity and a light phenolic grip (****)

Pizzini Verduzzo 2012

Purchased: Not ($)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2013, the variety is from the Fruilano region in north-east Italy, verging on off-dry with austere granny smith apple and poached pear flavours, opens up on mid-palate to show lime and kiwifruit fruits with creamy almond-edged lees, persistent fine phenolics with fresh citric acidity (****)

Pizzini Prosecco 2012

Purchased: Not ($)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2013, crisp and light apertif sparkling showing some green apple, lime and pears with a touch of bready lees, creamy mousse, crisp and refreshing lime rind acidity , crown seal(***1/2)

Pizzini Brachetto 2012

Purchased: Not ($)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2013, made in the style of pink Moscato, light and breezy apples and strawberries with musk and rose petal notes, gentle spritz with a fresh acid finish, crown seal (***)

Pizzini Rubacuori Sangiovese 2005

Purchased: Not ($110)

Drink: 2018+

(GXY) Tasting: May 2012, this is made from central Italian Brunello clones rather than the H6V9 clones used when Sangiovese was introduced to the King Valley in the 1990s, the wines of Brunello di montalcini are more intense and acidic than the usual Tuscan Chiantis, this is a powerful brooding wine with a lingering core of sour cherry and dark plum with dried herb, cigar box and anise notes, persistent chalky tannins and a vibrant cut of acid, my only quibble is that the cedary oaking is more overt than typical Brunello wines that are aged in very old Slovakian oak, notwithstanding this New World stylistic difference this is in the top tier of Australian Sangiovese (*****)

Pizzini Coronamento Nebbiolo 2005

Purchased: Not ($135)

Drink: 2018+

(GXY) Tasting: May 2012, shortly after reviewing this I took part in a Barolo single vineyard expo, while not yet reaching the vinous pinnacles (and prices) achieved by the greatest Barolos this is in the top tier of Australia’s recent flirtation with this most fickle of varieties, perfumed, firm, savoury and powerful core of black cherry, dates and cranberry with ethereal tar, leather, musk, mushroom and liquorice notes, penetrating spine of chewy, chalky tannins, the French oak brings a light touch of hazelnut/vanilla/bitter chocolate to the finish, even with extra cellaring the firmness of the tannins means this must be accompanied by food (****1/2)

Pizzini Sangiovese 2010

Purchased: Cloudwine, South Melbourne ($25)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: May 2012, bright and juicy redcurrant, plum and blackberry pastille with dried herb and mint notes, savoury and earthy with very fine powdery tannins and some crunchy acidity, restrained spicy and charry cedar oak, nicely balanced (****)

Pizzini Nebbiolo 2008

Purchased: Not ($48)

Drink: 2016+

(GXY) Tasting: May 2012, while designed to be more approachable earlier than the Coronamento this still has a firm and powerful core of earthy red cherry, tar and cranberry fruit, some iris florals and crunchy, chalky Italianate tannins, there’s also the anise, white pepper and musk notes, good acid backbone, the oak seems a little more overt than the Coronomento but it is 3 years younger, will benefit from medium term cellaring and need to be consumed with food (****)

Pizzini Whitfields Pinot Grigio 2011

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: May 2012, barrel fermented and fuller than the standard with granny smith apple, melon and dried pear with almond and cinnamon notes, some fine chalky phenolic texture on the savoury finish, lingering, crisp lemon rind acids (****)

Pizzini Prosecco 2011

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: May 2012, straightforward, breezy apertitif sparkling showing some green apple, lime and pears with a touch of almond and bready lees, crisp and refreshing lemon acidity (***1/2)

Pizzini Sangiovese Shiraz 2010

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: May 2012, the Sangiovese is the original H6V9 clones, fresh, bright and juicy sour red cherry, raspberry and plum with white pepper and dried herb notes, medium bodied, savoury undertones with fine, chalky tannins and a dab of cedary chocolate on the finish, pleasant easy quaffing pasta wine that should be drunk soon (***)

Pizzini Nebbiolo 2006

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2011, firm and meaty sour cherry and plum entry with rose petal, iris and dried herb notes, medium-full bodied with a tarry mid-palate and fine, grainy tannins (****)

Pizzini Arneis 2011

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2011, the variety is from the Piedmonte region in north Italy, fragrant yellow peach, green apple and pear with acacia florals and subtle almond and nougat nuances, tangy lime rind acidity (****)

Pizzini Verduzzo 2010

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2011, the variety is common in the Fruilano region in north-east Italy, delicate, off-dry and talcy style with a granny smith apple and pear skin entry, opens up on mid-palate to show melon and kiwifruit fruits with creamy savoury lees mid-palate features, persistent fine phenolics with crisp acidity (****)

Pizzini Sangiovese 2009

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2011, aromatic and juicy red cherry and plum with dried fennel, musk and tobacco notes, savoury and medium bodied with chewy and grainy tannins, toasty cedar and warm oak spices (***1/2)

Pizzini Whitfield Pinot Grigio 2010

Purchased: Not ($19)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: July 2010, lean and taut granny smith apple and dried pear with subtle quince and cinnamon notes, barrel fermented and a little fuller than the 2009 but still very much in the Grigio style, some fine grape skin phenolic texture on the savoury finish, crisp lemon acids (****)

Pizzini Nebbiolo 2005

Purchased: Not ($47)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2010, red-tawny brown colour, sour cherry and plum with leather, rose petal and tomato leaf notes, medium bodied and savoury with some citric acidity, persistent and mouth-coating grainy tannins although not as challenging as a true Barolo, respectable length and varietal expession (****)

Pizzini Pinot Grigio 2009

Purchased: Albury Dan Murphys, NSW ($18)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2010, some barrel ferment, long but rather delicate with some granny smith apple and pear with subtle quince and cinnamon notes, very fine chalky lemon acids (***)

Pizzini Rosato 2009

Purchased: Not ($16)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2010, Sangiovese derived, fresh and savoury cranberry and red cherry with some strawberry sweetness and modest spiciness, soft talcy texture with a dry minerally finish (***)

Pizzini Brachetto 2009

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2010, spritzy, low alcohol wine made in a Moscato-style, musk and watermelon with raspberry in the mid-palate, not meant to be taken seriously, the winery suggests adding ginger, a wedge of lime and crushed ice (***)

Pizzini Riesling 2009

Purchased: Not ($16)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2010, rather restrained pear and lime with subtle tropical fruit notes, soft chalky citrus acids, not particularly varietal and much too twee (**1/2)

Pizzini Nebbiolo 2004

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: May 2009, Trophy for Best Wine of Show at Australian Alternative Wine Show 2007, tangy and ethereal red cherry and ripe plum with rose, orange rind and tobacco notes, medium bodied, savoury and earthy with a fine web of persistent grainy tannins, one of the most convincing Australian Nebbiolos so far (****1/2)

Pizzini Sangiovese 2008

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: May 2009, stylish and medium bodied, keeps a lovely balance between the sweet cherry and redcurrant elements and the savoury plum, dried herb and olive elements, fairly restrained oak, slightly firmish tannins, will benefit from some medium cellaring (****)

Pizzini Arneis 2008

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: May 2009, clean varietal expression showing pear, green apple and kiwifruit with a hint of almond, plenty of minerality but still quite flavoursome for the main part, the dry finish is a bit too watery for me (***1/2)

Pizzini Brachetto 2008

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: May 2009, low alcohol (5.5%) and spritzy, musk, watermelon and strawberries with a persistent mineral streak, zesty acids keep it fresh and racy, drink it now (***1/2)

Pizzini Pinot Grigio 2008

Purchased: Not ($19)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: May 2009, delicate pear and granny smith apple with spice and quince notes, there is a little more texture and minerality than many Grigios, austere and dry finish (***1/2)

Pizzini Sangiovese 2006

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: May 2008, good varietal expression showing both ripe and sour cherry contrast, savoury plum, medium bodied palate shows black pepper and cinnamon with some underlying mushroom earthiness, chalky tannins with balanced mocha oak aspects, it may not be Chianti but it is a confident expression of the evolving Australian style (****)

Pizzini Nebbiolo 2003

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: May 2008, savoury plum and black cherry with some raspberry notes, some varietal tar and leather, medium-full bodied with plenty of glycerol smoothness, powdery tannins, quality is heading in the right direction as the vines mature (***1/2)

Pizzini Riesling 2007

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: May 2008, sweeter style with a nod to Mosel, tangy and candied lemon and orange rind, some brown spices, well structured undercarriage with mineral and talc aspects with a brown lime finish (***1/2)

Pizzini Il Soffio NV

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: May 2008, sparkling rose, derived from Sangiovese, pink colour, savoury and minerally with a hint of cherry, more spritzy than full blown sparkling, easy quaffing (***)

Pizzini Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2007, ripe and rich blackcurrant intensity for the region with some red cherry and white pepper nuances, spicy and medium-full bodied, discrete cedar-vanilla oak support, fine tannins, good balance and length (****)

Pizzini Arneis 2006

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2007, spicy pear with green apple, honeysuckle and kiwifruit nuances, good fruit intensity, chalky minerality with some underlying green asparagus notes, crisp fry finish (***1/2)

Pizzini Riesling 2005

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2006, mandarin, lime and lemon aroma, deep limey but minerally palate, good line and backbone, crisp finish (****)

Pizzini Sangiovese 2005

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2006, dark plum and black cherry nose with leather, tobacco and liquorice notes, savoury medium bodied palate, fine chalky tannins (***1/2)

Pizzini Pinot Grigio 2006

Purchased: Not ($19)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2006, floral and spicy pear and melon, minerally mid-palate with some honeyed features, zesty and acidic finish (***1/2)

Pizzini Arneis 2005

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2006, aromas of honey and quince with green bean notes, palate has sweet candied pear at front, more restrained citric mid-palate and honeyed but acidic finish to balance the sweetness (***)

Pizzini Brachetto 2006

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2006, spritzy musc and strawberry, light bodied, Moscato d'Asti style, silky tannins (***)

Pizzini Verduzzo 2004

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2006, Italian variety from Friuli, near the mountainous border with Austria, dry style, nose shows apple and ripe pears with spice notes, palate shows tropical fruit before sliding into honeyed finish with light oaking, hot finish (***1/2)

Pizzini Sangiovese 2004

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2006, promising nose shows cherry and fresh blackberry with leather, chocolate and spice notes, sweet front palate is a bit disjointed from the bitter cherry back palate, strong tannins and vanilla oak, varietally correct (***1/2)

Pizzini Verduzzo Dolce 2004

Purchased: Not ($14)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2006, sweet Auslesse-like style, light dessert wine showing peach, nectarine and honeysuckle, not showing much complexity yet (***)

Pizzini Nebbiolo 2000

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2006, nose shows spice, liquorice, tar and tobacco notes on top of raspberry and plum aromas, earthy and jammy palate but lacking in fruit definition, smoky oak, allow to breathe for an hour before drinking (***)

Pizzini Sangiovese Shiraz 2003

Purchased: Not ($12)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2006, spicy cherry and blackberry fruits, herb and spice notes, but not much fruit intensity, some sappiness in the tannins, slightly sour budget quaffer (**1/2)

Pizzini Arneis 2004

Purchased: Prince of Wales, St. Kilda ($22)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2005: straw-green colour, aroma of powerful honey and quince with green asparagus notes, palate has sweet candied pear at front, more restrained green lime mid-palate with strongly acidic and honeyed finish to balance the sweetness, hard to rate as this is one of the first Arneises I have tried but its worth a try for fans of sweet whites looking for something different (***)