Italy’s Alto Adige is a mountainous region that borders Germany, and it’s here where the nation makes some of its most interesting and unusual white wines. Alois Lageder is a longtime icon of this region, where his family has been producing wine since 1823. Recently we had the chance to check out three new whites from Lageder, following up on its recently-reviewed chardonnay.
2017 Alois LagederManzoni Bianco “Forra” Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT – Manzoni bianco grape is a cross between riesling and pinot bianco. Here the pinot bianco — perfumy with fresh floral notes, though sometimes elusive — is most visible, while the moderately buttery feels strangely at odds. A note of peach tea and lemonade come through toward the finish, with a lasting sweetness. B / $31
2018 Alois Lageder Müller Thurgau Valle Isarco Alto Adige DOC – Müller thurgau is a cross between riesling and the madeleine royale grape, and while it’s known as a mountain-friendly varietal, here it lands with a bit of a thud. Quite doughy up front, it opens up as it warms to reveal a lemon and lime character, dusted with florals and a touch of nutmeg. (The flowery elements are particularly strong on the nose.) The finish feels unfortunately short and flat. B / $18
2018 Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio “Porer” Alto Adige DOC – A semi-experimental pinot grigio, “the winemakers pressed one part of the grapes, kept another part on skins for 15 hours, and placed a third in contact with stems and skins for about one year.” It’s definitely a bolder expression of pinot grigio, fairly creamy in body while letting notes of white flowers, pear, and some tangerine notes take up the rear. It’s a bit more unctuous than I like from pinot grigio, but a fun twist on the concept (and the best wine in this lineup). A- / $26