Südtirol at Munich

12.10.2011

For my EWBC friend: here is the (shorter) summary of my recent visit at an Alto Adige wine presentation at Munich.
The connection between Alto Adige wine and the near north - from Tirol to Bavaria - is of old tradition and, with „Törggelen“-excursions and an unbroken affection to light and juicy „Reddish“, still alive. But this is not an up-to-date one regarding the new status quo of wines from Südtirol that seek for appreciation with characterful whites and powerful reds. The presentation held recently at Munich should contribute to this image correction; the presence of many local gastro entrepreneurs showed the vivid interest in those wines. This  persuasive work was supported by Hendrik Thoma and his sovereign knowlegde of the region; he explained landscape, varieties and wine styles in three lections. The tasting parcours showed a panel full of diversity: big names as Lageder, Hans Haas, Elena Walch, the outstanding cooperatives and smaller, unknown wineries. To show the complexity of Alto Adige whites there was a corresponding table presentation; only the places at „Ansitz 2.0“, an area reserved for wine bloggers remained vacant.

I relied on my intuition, didn‘t follow a certain programm and was rewarded by persuasive wines of familiar wineries as well as new discoveries.

Michael Graf Goëss-Enzenberg of Manincor ist one of the extraordinary winemen of Alto Adige; his biodynamic wines, vinified exclusively in barrels made of own slowly dried oak show finesse, freshness, tension. 2010 was the best white vintage ever, he said, with great aging potential.
Terlaner „Reserva della Contessa“ 2010: friendly, fruity and juicy as well as a down-to-earth character with slight tannic touch.
Chardonnay „Sophie“: left on butches for some time to get more spine, still very youthful but you can feel the future drinking fun.
Cuvée Cassiano 2008: juicy fruit, freshness, stimulating acidity and power.

Klaus Lentsch and his wife, a young winemaker couple, care for the family estate in the southern region with the heritage of lagrein, cabernet and merlot; they also bought an estate at the Eisacktal far north, there they have their experiences with a cool region and style.
Eisacktaler Veltliner Eichberg 2010: particular, more floral aromas with a lot of freshness and spicyness; shows expecially it‘s origin, full bodied and compact with fruit sweetness and mineralic balance.
Pinot Noir Bachgart 2009: This vineyard was part of the deal, not really welcome - but it fits well into this terroir; the wine is still very young, fresh, with delicat fruit, salty minerality, elegant and dancing above his 13.5% alcohol.
Lagrein Morus from Branzoll is a 2005, the actual vintage. Such a characterful, almost wild Lagrein, originally edged, powerful, spicy and full of peppery aromas is hardly to find in a range of modern interpretations of this old and rediscovered variety.

Again back to the Eisacktal: the Stiftskellerei Neustift (Abbazia Novicella) with its Praepositus rank witnesses which expressive wines can be made in such altitude. 
Praepositus Sylvaner 2010: vinified in 3000l acacia barrels which give the wine a more smooth appearance. A lot of spice, pithy, komplex, slightly bitter (also typical for that variety). Great as food companion, will be good in two years as well as the
Praepositus Kerner
2010: seductive fruit of pears and peach, but also pithy, spicy, focussed on the palate. Will develop more into creaminess when maturing.
Praepositus Lagrein 2008: from own family vineyards of Urban von Klebelsberg, the administrator of the abbazia. Dark, smoky, dense, good acidity, edged tannins, a bit of cinnamon and cloves. „Lagrein must taste like climbing boots“ he sais - a sentence which all those winemakers should commemorate who make a round and modern being out of this grape.

The winery Stroblhof is specialized on burgundy varieties and is situated at St. Michael-Eppan, directly underneath the Mendelgebirge - chalky soils and cool nights.
Strahler Pinot Bianco 2010 is a field blend with additional 5% Chardonnay and Pinot gris each; smooth, fresh, aromatic, nut aromas, full bodied, made in 2000l barrels of german oak.
Pinot Noir Pigeno 2009 and Riserva 2008: both brilliant examples for Alte Adige Blauburgunder; it‘s diffucalt to taste others afterwards! Smooth fruit, mineralic spice, long, full of tension; even more intensity and power in the Riserva.

A paradigmatic example for the work of Alto Adige wine cooperatives is the Kellerei Terlan who cares for the type of mineralic, structured and also very food friendly wine.
Terlaner classico 2010: mild and juicy on first sight but yet fresh and tense, structured - batonnage in the steel tanks!
Vorberg Pinot Bianco Riserva 2009: from vineyards between 400-800 m, volcanic Quartz-Porphyr-soil. Own style caused also by Batonnage and malolactic fermentation; creamy, deep, yet full of freshness, impressive balance.
Sauvignon Quarz 2009: one of the best known Sauvignons in Austria/Germany; pure concentration of spice and saltiness, long, tense.

Other good cooperatives: Kellerei Andrian; Erste + Neue Kaltern with their Puntay premium serie - very good Kalterersee Classico of 100 year old vines, elegant, cool climate style; Kellerei Girlan with Gschleier Vernatsch 2009 of 80-90 years old vines, spicy fruit, mineralic, good body. Neat work also at Kellerei Tramin in it‘s spectacular new winery building.
Some good Pinot blancs: 2010 Dreikönighof Terlaner Josef Brigl, 2010 Eichhorn Manincor, 2010 Terlaner Muri Gries, 2009 Sanct Valentin Kellerei St. Michael Eppan.

The great finale is to owe the wonderful spumantes of Arunda Sektkellerei, at 1200 meters the highest situated sparkling wine production in Europe. Just go there! Talento Extra Brut 80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot noir; Cuvéé Marianna 80% Chardonnay vinified in barrels, 2006 Arunda Riserva 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, 60 month on the lees; Arunda Excellor 100% Pinot Noir from 800m heigth, delicate orange peel aroma.

 

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