(2021) This prmium Gewürztraminer cuvée comes from vineyards at 350- to 550-metres altitude, grown on calcareous soils. The vines are up to 40 years old, and the wine is aged in stainless steel on the lees. With 15% alcohol declared on the label it is a powerful, concentrated and intense expression of Gewürztraminer, pouring a light gold colour with soaring aromas of lychee, old fragrant roses and Turkish delight. In the mouth the texure is slippery and rich, and the sheer weight and concentration of fruit along with a little residual sugar could be overbearing, but thankfully the acid base of the wine is equally powerful. That all adds up to a big, dominant style of white wine that I think might work best with food - spicy Sechuan or Thai cuisine perhaps.
(2021) An an alpine Chardonnay, weighing in with 14% alcohol by volume, there's a fairly obvious oak influence here, giving a wisp of Jack Daniels on the nose, but the balance of white fruit and freshness from these vineyards at 500– to 550-metres altitude is good. It was fermented and aged for 11 months in Bordeaux barriques, but then a further 22 months ageing on the lees in steel. On the palate there's interplay between juicy orange and peach, quite a full texture, with a fat waxy lemon quality, and again, good balancing acidity in a concentrated, grippy, serious style.
(2021) Most assuredly a Pinot Grigio that marches to a very different beat from your 'average' northern Italian example. This is a powerful, concentrated wine of texture, opening with white fruit, melon rind and peppery aromas, and striking the palate with real authority. I guess 14% ABV helps that, as does some oak ageing, but really it does show that skinny, leesy grip on the palate and the concentrated fruit that is much more 'Gris' than 'Grigio', with a broad chewy texture of fruit, extract and a even a touch of tannin. Besides that, however, the freshness and acid balance is excellent making this a gastronomic treat too. The best Pinot Grigio from Italy that I have tasted? Possibly, yes.
(2021) This outstanding wine is expensive, but I have to say, is worth the price if you can afford it. Made from the oldest plots of Gewurz on high slopes, picked late, it is aged for six years in an abandoned silver mine, 6,500 feet up, and four kilometres deep into the mountainside. It pours a pale gold colour, and the bouquet is immediately arresting, with classic rose petal and lychee perfume, a touch of honey, and a touch of something lightly leafy and herbal. In the mouth there is glycerine richness and weight, but the punch of the vibrant and still very pretty fruit comes through, tropical and candied, but with a core of shimmering acidity that never loses focus. 1,200 bottles produced. Note that price and stockist is for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2021) Another absolutely lovely wine from Cantina Tramin, this an oak cask-fermented blend of 65% Chardonnay with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc and Gewürztraminer, coming from stony limestone and clay soils, it's name meaning 'stone' in local dialect. It is sweetly perfumed, refined and accented by floral and creamy top and bottom notes, a lovely taut but ripe fruit juiciness. In the mouth the oak fermentation rounds the wine beautifully, but those bright and quite vivacious fruit characters and the salts and citrus acid structure of these wines is very nicely balanced, making this so easy to drink, but with precision too.
(2021) This is an excellent Pinot Noir from the Cantina Tramin. From two of their highest vineyards at over 450-metres altitude, it is fermented in large oak casks and aged in a combination of small French barrels and big oak casks for a further 18 months. It has a beautifully composed nose, with a warm cherry and red plum fruit spiced with tobacco and Sandalwood, an expressive beetroot earthiness adding depth. On the palate that juxtaposition of sweet and fleshy fruit with spicy structural tannins and pert acidity gives lovely balance. A full and rich wine, but with an edge that keeps the interest through the long finish.
(2020) A Grüner, not from Austria, but from the far north of Italy in the Alto Adige mountains literally just across the border. It's a zippingly fresh style this, all crunchy hard apples and citrus on the nose, just a little whiff of something green, leafy and herbal, before an equally decisive palate. Lemon, lemon pith and a pink grapefruit blast of keen fruit and acidity is super fresh, and after a suggestion of mid-palate peach sweetness, dry in the finish. Part of Lidl's 'Wine Tour', May 2020.
(2015) Aromatic white grapes like Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Bianco are specialities of Alto Adige up against the Austrian border in northern Italy. Only 12.5% alcohol and this is very attractive with a mealy sense of richness to pear and apple, but a little burgeoning hint of apricot or nectarine too. In the mouth it is textured and sweet-fruited, but the delicious Alpine freshness of the acidity and twist of herby bitterness are just delightful. £10.95, The Wine Society.
(2010) >From way up in the Italian Alps near the Brenner pass, very close to the Austrian border. Pliger was one of the pioneers of grape growing in this cold, northern valley, growing varieties we'd think of a distinctly German - Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner and Grüner Veltliner. Pliger farms organically and follows biodynamic principles. Very natural winemaking with no oak barrels, no malolactic. This is a dry, steely take on Gewurz, the crisp, lightly aromatic lime and lychee aromas leading on to a full, oily, weighty palate, yet one that is crystalline with a terrific core of acidity. Though dry, its weight, texture and pristine fruit matched the dish with its sweet Muffato wine sauce really nicely.
(2007) Manincor's Moscato is spontaneously fermented using natural yeasts where possible, at low temperatures to retain the Muscat's aromatic character. It is then matured on the lees in steel and large, old wooden vats. It has a very expressive Muscat nose, with vivid floral and grapy aromas, a hint of grapefruit zest and a very subtle background spiciness. On the palate this is punchy and crisp, with a light-bodied, dashing fruit quality of citrus and crunchy apple, but those little glimpses of floral and exotic, peachy notes are there. The acidity is clean, tangy, dry and fresh, in a wine that has some structure and substance, despite its easy-drinking charms. This wine is closed with a Vinolock glass stopper.