I found this bottle of Bressan’s 1998 Pignolo on Max Stefanelli’s wine list at Terroni in Los Angeles. The wine list is a tribute to Italy and its adjacent neighbors- it’s such a wonderful and comprehensive selection of wines I almost didn’t see this little hidden gem.
Pignolo is a rare indigenous grape, exclusive to Friuli. It has a particularly savage, brambly aroma- it’s vinous and unhinged in a way that would make most fanatics of real Italian wines swoon. This wine is a beast, a regal, king, a warrior.
Even after 14 years the Pignolo was initially tight and closed. It took about an hour in the glass to beging to unfurl itself- revealing secret layers of blackberry and cedar that morphed gently into fresh sweet hay and red, irony earth- almost like the scent of wet terracotta. This wine is seriously complex.
On the palate a beautiful burst of acidity followed by layers of long-lasting black fruits, ripe plum and a tingling bite of tannin. Untamed, and yet still perfectly balanced. This is a wine with wisdom- an old soul. If you ever have the chance, do yourself a favor and experience it for yourself.