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2014 Südtirol Eisacktaler Grüner Veltliner

Manni Nössing

2014 Südtirol Eisacktaler Grüner Veltliner  Manni Nössing - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Common white-winemaking practice, especially in cooler regions, entails pushing the vine to create as much sugar as possible, with the goal of producing ripe, concentrated grapes that can be picked at optimal maturity. Manni Nössing of the Valle Isarco, Italy’s northernmost wine-growing district, has other ideas. High in the Dolomites, summers can reach sweltering extremes, with only the cool nights conferred by altitude allowing a fresh balance in the wines. Especially in recent vintages, Manni has noticed a predilection for overripe, flabby wines with high alcohol and little aromatic finesse rather than the sharp acid bombs many growers fear.
     “Since 2008, I have left an additional cluster on each vine and stopped removing leaves so that the grapes can stay in the shade,” Manni explains, with the staunch conviction one would expect from a brawny mountain man of Germanic descent. “I harvest up to two weeks earlier than what is normal for the region. My wines are made to be drinkable, not impress the critics.”
     You’ll see the result of his counter-intuitive approach in this laser-precise Grüner, a grape more commonly associated with neighboring Austria. The variety has found a second home here in Alto Adige, and Manni has established himself as a master of the racy, mineral-driven style. If you seek a crisp Alpine freshness in your whites, here it is—prepare to salivate. –Anthony Lynch

Vintage: 2014
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Grüner Veltliner
Appellation: Alto Adige – Valle Isarco
Country: Italy
Region: Alto Adige
Producer: Manni Nössing
Winemaker: Manni Nössing
Vineyard: 2-15 years, 1.2 ha
Soil: Sandy, Granite
Aging: Temperature-controlled fermentation 50% in stainless steel vats, 50% in 30-hL, 5-year-old acacia botti lasts about 10-12 days
Farming: Sustainable
Alcohol: 13%

More from this Producer or Region

About Alto Adige

In the heart of the Dolomites, Alto Adige is Italy’s northernmost wine region. Having changed hands multiples times in its history between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire (it shares a border with Austria), it boasts strong Germanic influence on its culture, language, cuisine, as well as its wines.

The mountainous geography is the principal determinant of local winemaking styles, with the high-altitude vineyards and cool Alpine climate favoring primarily crisp, racy, aromatic whites from varieties like Kerner, Sauvignon, Müller Thurgau, and Grüner Veltliner. A Mediterranean influence on climate is channeled north up the valley until Bolzano, permitting the cultivation of certain reds as well, among which Schiava, Lagrein, Pinot Nero, and Merlot fare best.

Small growers who once sold fruit to the area’s multiple co-ops are now increasingly bottling their own wines. The arrival of many quality-oriented artisans on the scene caught our eye years ago, and we now count three estates from Südtirol, as it is also known, in our portfolio. These high-acid mountain wines make for a beautifully invigorating aperitivo with thinly sliced speck, a local specialty.

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2014 Alto Adige Pinot Nero “Mazzon”

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2016 Vigneti delle Dolomiti “Schiava”

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2015 Müller Thurgau “Sass Rigais”

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2011 Alto Adige Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon “Iugum”

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2016 Dolcetto d’Alba “V. Pari”

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2015 Friuli Colli Orientali Ribolla Gialla

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2016 Vino Rosso

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Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.

Inspiring Thirst, page 312


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