Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Masterclass on South Tyrol wines from Italy

A little gem of class at the London Wine Fair 2017 presented by Nancy Gilchrist MW. 

Alto Adige produces only 1 % of Italian wine. 98% of it is doc.Vineyards have been around for several centuries, in fact for at least two millennia. Archduke Leonhardt brought French grapes in the XIX century and this was a major leap forward.

Lots of good products by the 12 co-ops.

Topography is special because of altitude and steep slopes. Virtually all work in the vineyard must be done by hand. Mountains protects from the harsh climate of the north while warming air flows northward from Garda Lake and helps.

Mix of soils, different wines. about 20 varietal, three indigenous, Gewurztraminer, schiava (vernatsch) which represents the largest production, lagrein.

200 vineyards. 60pc whites 40pc reds.

35% of wine exported, mostly to USA and Germany.

Below are my tasting notes for the day. Whites better than reds. Most wines ready now. These are a good selection but there is better output in South Tyrol which was not here today.

pinot bianco 100pc Sirmian, cantina Margreid 2015
easy flowers and light citrus.14 abv! I Score 86.
12 gbp

Pinot Grigio 2015 by Lageder.
light cherry highlights!
quite smooth and complex. score 87 abv 14

kerner aristos by cantina valle Isarco 2016.
zesty yet balanced and persistent. score 88. abv 14.5

sauvignon blanc Mervin 2015 by cantina Merano
lightly barriqued, somewhere in between serious dry Loire and plump smooth New Zealand.
score 87 abv 14
gbp 14

Gewurztraminer Turmhof 2016 by Tiefenbrunner
very smooth yet moderately balanced as enough freshness lingers on until the end to justify drinking it with a meal of creamy fish or seafood risotto . abv 15
score 84

schiava (vernatsch) etymology uncertain. Schiava di cantine Caldaro, classico superiore. 2016
a bit rough, ripe red fruit contrasts with unruly tannins. abv 13.5
score 78

Pinot Noir riserva by Trattmann Manzon 2014.
French oak uses sparingly. maybe could have used some more. hard sensation prevails. abv 13. 8
score 87

Alto Adige Lagrein riserva Tor di Lupo 2014 cantina Adriano
deep ruby red intense black fruits
still a bit rough, lacks structure for evolution. abv 13.5
score 83

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