Alto Adige, in the north of Italy along the German border, is known for a wide range of white and red wines, and for my money they’ve always come across as wintry in character, which is befitting their place of origin along the rugged Dolomite mountains.
Here’s a look at two hearty Alto Adige reds in current release.
2016 Franz Haas Pinot Nero Schweizer Alto Adige – This husky, wintry red offers notes of turned earth and peppery mulling spices, turning slightly green on the moderately tannic, brambly finish that hints at cranberry. The flavor here is quite a bit darker than New World pinot noirs tend to gravitate to, though the wine is nonetheless bright and moderately acidic, and also quite light in color, making for a slightly discombobulated — though readily enjoyable — experience. B+ / $45
2019 Eisacktaler Kellerei Cantina Valle Isarco Schiava Alto Adige – This dry schiava comes across with gentle notes of roast beef and spice, creating a backdrop for a palate that is prominent with flavors of raspberry, plus some floral elements in the mix. Hearty with a touch of that unmistakably Old World funk — think caraway and roast pork — but moderately acidic as it develops, the wine sees a light chocolate note on the finish and a hint of black pepper that gently spices things up, if only a little. B / $15