Browse Tag

alto adige

No Lalande

[label]St. Michael-Eppan “Sanct Valentin” 1997 “Comtess” Vino Passito – Though I assume this is made from Alto Adige grapes, there’s no indication of appellation or origin anywhere on the label. Is that even legal? Well, I guess anything’s possible in Italy. This is rather light and well-aged, and I think it’s a little past its best. Candied orange peel and tarragon stand out, but to be honest there’s not much to rise above, other than a fresh, crisp acid wash in the background. The wine’s juicy enough, but there’s no complexity whatsoever. I expect more from this winery and this line, which probably affects my impressions and renders this reaction more negative than it might be were this the work of a different producer. (10/07)

Radio aromatico

Franz Haas 2003 Traminer Aromatico (Alto Adige) – Fat and lightly sweet-seeming (is it? probably not; it could just be the alcohol, which is intrusive), with bitter vanilla overtones and a core featuring a rather bizarre fruit salad: apricot skins, tangerine rind, and grapefruit dusted with a little nutmeg. Decent acidity only becomes apparent on the finish, by which time this blocky, pushy wine has managed to offend. Lacking complexity or actual presence, it replaces these qualities with sheer weight, but little substance. I’d like to try this in a different vintage. (10/07)

Muri head

[barrel]Muri-Gries 2005 Lagrein (Alto Adige) – A baby. Very aromatic, resembling a pinot in its structure but something more akin to a cru Beaujolais/syrah blend in taste. Finely-grained and highly adaptable with food despite an initial austerity. Ultimately, quite pleasant. (10/07)

Kerner & Loewe

Stiftskellerei Neustift Abbazia di Novacella 2005 Valle Isarco Kerner (Alto Adige) – Flowers, leaves, and herbs, with lime and grapefruit. Crisp, juicy, and fruity. Fun. (2/07)

Roger Castelfeder(er)

Castelfeder 2004 Lagrein (Alto Adige) – Cold chalk and powerded red fruit (cherry, strawberry, cranberry). Lithe and balanced, but standoffish beyond the point of difficulty. A chilly wine. (2/07)

Stiftskellereis & stones

Stiftskellerei Neustift Abbazia di Novacella 2005 Pinot Grigio Valle Isarco (Alto Adige) – Very soft and round. Appealing apple notes on the finish, but by then it’s too late, as there’s been a general lack of character up to that point. (2/07)

Young Tyroldego

Mayr-Nusser “Nusserhof” 2003 “Tyroldego” (Alto Adige) – If I gave out points (which I don’t), this one would get 100 of ‘em just for the label pun (for the less geeky, that’s the teroldego grape from the Südtirol, the name of the Alto Adige region amongst German speakers). Dusty and dark, with chewy cherry and fennel, plus a bit of peanut. Balanced, long. Perhaps a bit stiff, but otherwise solid. (1/08)

Lagrein belt

Mayr-Nusser “Nusserhof” 2004 Lagrein “Riserva” (Alto Adige) – Quartzy minerality, cold verbena, and mint. Pretty, in a very Teutonic way, with a lovely finish (perhaps that comes after the Teutonic beauty finally warms up). (1/08)

TT boy

Mayr-Nusser “Nusserhof” 2006 Blaterle (Alto Adige) – Or possibly Blatterle. There seems to be some disagreement between labels past and present, marketing materials, the web, dubious sources, and authoritative sources. I certainly can’t adjudicate. Anyway: papaya dominates a big, fat nose to which acidity and structure are joined much, much later. There are falling apple leaves, as well. This wine is all about cold-climate diffidence, and that’s pretty much how I feel about it. I’m still waiting for my blat(t)erle epiphany. (1/08)

Lahn work

[label]St. Michael-Eppan 2004 Sauvignon Blanc Lahn (Alto Adige) – Very intense, though the form of the intensity is somewhat mysterious. There’s plenty of volume-enhanced green fruit and grass to provide varietal character, and the wine has a pronounced clarity about it, revealing all the minerality and piercing acidity underneath. Yet the wine presents itself in discrete panes rather than a cohesive whole. Everything is, frankly, terrific, and yet it doesn’t quite come together for me. On the other hand, I feel silly criticizing a wine with so many obvious qualities. (12/07)