Alto Adige, also known as South Tyrol, or Suditrol, is a region in the far north of Italy, and a real hodgepodge of wine is made here, drawing from Italian styles to the south and, especially, German and Austrian styles to the north.
Alto Adige is arguably at its best when you’re drinking a crisp, mineral-forward white wine, four of which we look at today, all from the new 2017 vintage. Thoughts follow.
2017 Eisacktaler Kellerei Cantina Valle Isarco Gruner Veltliner Alto Adige – A slightly sweeter rendition of gruner than the Austrians turn out, this is a quite honeyed expression of the grape, with notes of apricot and mango. A note of cotton candy lingers on the finish, making this a more appropriate solo sipper than a wine to pair with food. B / $16
2017 Cantina Kurtatsch Kerner Alto Adige – A heavily perfumed wine, this kerner comes across a lot like gewurztraminer, with dried florals, honey, and camphor notes all mixed into a melange. A bit peppery, the finish is quite lengthy, featuring incredibly sustained aromatics. B / $19
2017 Pacher Hof Muller Thurgau Alto Adige – Melon and pineapple notes mix in this lively wine, which blends ample fruit with enough acidity to keep things lively on the palate. The finish offers a particularly floral, zippy conclusion that helps it work well on its own or alongside food. Aka Pacherhof. A- / $25
2017 Alois Lageder Vogelmaier Moscato Giallo Alto Adige – Heavily perfumed on the nose, but the body is watery, sour, and generally unpleasant, with overtones of mothballs, grapefruit pith, and a weird character I can only describe as “insect-like.” Pass. D / $27