Tasting Report: Wines of Alto Adige 2012

Alto Adige is a region in the north of Italy that you have probably never heard of, yet one of the most popular wines in the world – Santa Margherita – hails from here. As a wine region, it’s wedged among Italy, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and stylistically it shares traits with all of these areas. Where else will you find Chardonnay, Lagrein, Pinot Nero, and Muller-Thurgau all growing in one place?

A few dozen wineries exhibited their wares recently in San Francisco. Thoughts on everything I tasted – as always, hit and miss – follow.

Tasting Report: Alto Adige Wines Grand Tasting Tour 2012

2010 Abbazia di Novacella Sylvaner / $20 / B / very green finish

2010 Abbazia di Novacella Praepositus Sylvaner / $28 / B+ / more structure here

2010 Abbazia di Novacella Praepositus Kerner / $28 / A- / better acid

2010 Cantina Andriano Floreado Sauvignon Blanc / $23 / B- / big earthiness, muted fruit

2008 Cantina Andriano Movado Gewurztraminer / $47 / B /

2007 Cantina Andriano Tor di Lupo Lagrein Riserva / $47 / B / intense earth, dried herbs, meaty finish

2010 Cantina Terlano Winkl Sauvignon Blanc / $30 / B+ / classic structure, brisk

2009 Cantina Terlano Quarz Sauvignon Blanc / $60 / B+ / bigger body, more heft

2011 Kellerei Kaltern Caldaro Muller-Thurgau / $18 / B /

2011 Castelfeder Kerner Lahn / NA / B+ / lots of aromatics here, sweeter

2009 Castelfeder Lagrein Riserva Burgum Novum / NA / B- / amazingly sweet for lagrein, green olive finish

2010 Winery Colterenzio-Schreckbichl Pinot Grigio / $20 / B+ / bolder fruit

2007 Winery Colterenzio-Schreckbichl Chardonnay Formigar Cornell / $41 / B / NZ Chardonnay style

2009 Winery Colterenzio-Schreckbichl Pinot Bianco Weisshaus Praedium / $27 / B+ /

2011 Erste+Neue Weissburgunder / $16 / B- / thin

2009 Franz Haas Pinot Nero / $50 / B+ / easygoing, earthy, tart finish

2009 Franz Haas Lagrein  / $36 / B+ / better balance for a Lagrein

2009 Franz Haas Moscato Rosa (375ml) / $51 / A- / red, sweet muscat, surprisingly good and balanced

2009 Tenuta J. Hofstatter Barthenau Vigna S. Michele Pinot Bianco / $46 / A- / tropical fruits, fragrant

2010 Tenuta J. Hofstatter Kolbenhof Gewurztraminer / $50 / B /

2009 Tenuta J. Hofstatter Barthenau Vigna S. Urbano Pinot Nero / $71 / A- / one of the best Neros of the day, good fruit and body

2010 Tenute Lentsch Gruner Veltliner Eichberg / $28 / B+ / a bit muddy

2010 Manincor Terlano Bianco Reserve della Contessa / $22 / B+ / heavy aromatics

2009 Cantina Produttori San Michele Appiano Pinot Grigio / $26 / A- / more buttery, almost chardonnay-like

2009 Cantina Produttori San Michele Appiano Pinot Grigio Anger / $47 / B / a bit overdone by the wood

2010 Tiefenbrunner Feldmarschall / $35 / B- / a Muller-Thurgau, very astringent

2010 Tramin Stoan / $35 / B+ / a Chardonnay-heavy blend, crisp and acidic

2010 Cantina Valle Isarco Pinot Grigio Aristos / $27 / A- / crisp, lots of aromatics

2010 Cantina Valle Isarco Sylvaner Aristos / $28 / B+ / mild, easygoing

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