While I spent a few days in Alto Adige tasting through a hundred or so whites, mostly 2006s from most of the top cooperatives in the region, I began thinking about how cooler regions may soon become warm regions, suitable for all sorts of different grape types and wine.
Years ago, Alto Adige was primarily an area for aromatic whites such as Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon, but now you have just about anything, and the reds are very good as well. For example, I tasted a handful of Pinot Noirs from the region that I thought were wonderfully delicious and balanced. They were Burgundian in weight in some ways, but maintained the minerally, stony character that you get from the steep vineyards in the region.
I really enjoyed a 2003 Stroblhof Blauburgunder Riserva. It was broad-shouldered with plumy, smoky, and cherry aromas and flavors, plenty of soft tannins and a fruity finish. 88 points in a non-blind tasting. A 2002 Dona Hartmann Blauburgunder was even more refined, with delicate plummy, cedary aromas and flavors, medium body and a super silky textured finish. 90, also non-blind.
From Tenuta Waldgries, I also had a couple impressive examples of Lagrein, the stylish red that resembles Syrah in some ways. They included the 2003 AA Lagrein Scuro Mirell, and the 2004 AA Lagrein Scuro Riserva. The former was very New World in style, with loads of blueberry and vanilla character and full, lush tannins (92 points, non-blind). The latter was more refined and silky (90, non-blind). The Mirell is made from 70 year-old vines on the property.
I started to think of Piedmont as well. For years, producers battled the cool weather to get their grapes ripe. Today, they are dealing with the opposite – too much sunshine, too much heat, and overripe grapes.
Hell, today in Tuscany as I write this, it is well over 100 degrees with bright, bright sunshine. It’s like that just about every year now. Years ago, nobody had air conditioning but now they need it in their house to sleep well at night during the summer – my cellar needs it too!
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Troy Peterson — Burbank, CA — July 30, 2007 1:45pm ET
John Miller — Windsor, CA — July 30, 2007 4:54pm ET
Anacleto Ludovic — paris france — July 30, 2007 7:57pm ET
Mike Gries — Cedar Rapids, Iowa — July 31, 2007 1:57pm ET
Greg Chitty — Houston Tx — July 31, 2007 6:32pm ET
Sean Kozey — Toronto, Ontario — July 31, 2007 7:34pm ET
John Miller — Windsor, CA — August 1, 2007 1:12am ET
Enrico Melis — Cagliari, Italy — August 1, 2007 12:07pm ET
Daniel Grotto — August 1, 2007 12:16pm ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions