Pignolo 2016, Ermacora, Italy
The Heathcliff of Northern Italian reds. Dark, brooding and chiselled. This is serious stuff.
Pignolo is indigenous to Friuli in Italy's north east, currently enjoying a renaissance (it can be tricky to cultivate). This version from Ermacora is aged in French oak for four years before bottling and then held back for a further six months before release. It's has tones of Morello cherries, leather, balsamic and a hint of pepper.
It demands robust, hearty food like roast hogget, slow-cooked beef cheek and wild boar ragù. We've found that decanting for an hour helps relax the tannins.