(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.
(2007) This blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, with a little Viognier, comes from steep, west-facing slopes at an altitude of around 380 metres. It is fermented in large oak casks, after which it matures for a further 10 months or so before bottling. It has a bright, green-tinged lemon colour, with arrestingly rich and honeyed aromas of oatmeal and acacia honey, with some nectarine and slightly candied, almost tropical fruit nuances. On the palate this has quite powerful concentration, with a robust chardonnay core that is quite dense and mouth-filling, though an edge of savoury, vibrant lemon and lime acidity pushes through. There is good fruit sweetness here, and plenty of intensity, yet the wine doesn't quite carry that level of interest through to the finish. A good and interesting wine and very stylish, though perhaps lacking a bit sharpness and ultimate complexity.
(2007) Manincor's Bordeaux(ish) blend is made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and the indigenous Lagrein, matured in used oak barriques for 10 to 12 months. It comes from selected vineyard sites and is harvested quite late, in late September or early October. The nose has a lovely, suffused, mellow character, with warming berry fruits and clove and cinnamon spices. On the palate there's a smooth textured, medium-bodied appeal, with plenty of red fruits - cherry and raspberry - given some weight and texture by rich, velvety tannins and a certain robustness from the Lagrein. With a long, well-balanced finish, this is very good indeed. This wine is closed with a Vinolock glass stopper.
(2007) Manincor's Pinot Noir comes from a single vineyard at an elevation of 400 metres. After fermentation, the wine spends around 10 months in French oak barriques, about one-third of which are new. It has a lovely bright, light ruby/crimson colour, and a very inviting, bold fruitiness on the nose, with aromas of raspberry and ripe red cherries straight from the tree, and a subtle undertow of earthiness and mellow, quite smoky aromas. On the palate this medium-bodied wine has really beautiful fruit quality, with huge sweetness to the fruit and a rounded, mouth-filling volume, but with terrific verve and vitality. This is a really lovely Pinot, expressing excellent fruit and just hints of a velvety, richer character, but all the time staying poised and full of life.
(2007) Delicate, perfumed floral and pear skin notes. A touch of honey and a touch of wax in a subdued but complex aromatic profile. The palate has quite mouthfilling, rounded apple and pear fruit, with quite a rich texture and a nice bite of crunchy acidity.
(2006) Big, mealy, richly layered oatmeal and hessian nose with plenty of creamy orchard fruit. The palate has mouth-filling ripeness, with a creamy texture and lovely apple and citrus acidity sweeping through.
(2005) Lovely stuff, with a whiff of nettle and even petrol, before cream and a gentle clean pear fruit. Soft touch of honey. On the palate this has crisp, well-defined fruit, with a tantalising clarity. Lots of crisp apple and pear and a clean mineral acidity.