2016 Vouvray “Le Portail”Champalou
France | Loire
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Records show proof of Pinot Noir being grown in Alto Adige as far back as the mid-nineteenth century. In 1866, one thirsty scholar commented,
“The grape Clevner (Blauer Burgunder) introduced to Middle Tyrol (Alto Adige) generally yields an excellent product, a wine that can stand next to any French Burgundy. . . . Blauer Burgunder, also called Clevner, is a variety that merits much attention and which should be disseminated as much as possible.”
The subzone of Mazzon, south of Bolzano, proved an especially propitious site, with its mix of Alpine and Mediterranean climates, gentle west-facing slope, and soils of limestone and marl. Today, Michela Carlotto is one of Mazzon’s foremost proponents. Uncork this delicate Alpine red tonight to see that grand cru Pinot Noir doesn’t have to come from France.
|Appellation:||Vigneti delle Dolomiti|
|Vineyard:||Planted in 2000, 2010, 2012, 2014, & 2015; 3 ha|
|Soil:||Sand, clay, chalk, limestone|
|Aging:||20% of wine aged in 22h: barrels and 80% aged in 225L barrels for 12 months|
Feruccio Carlotto and his daughter Michela farm a tiny estate of several hectares in the Alto-Adige town of Ora, south of Bolzano. The special of this village is Lagrein, a red grape that is native to the region. They chose to produce only one Lagrein Riserva that is aged in large oak casks. They also make a small amount of Pinot Nero that is made in a very fine, elegant style, with a feathery touch. We were pleasantly surprised when we were able to talk the Carlottos into selling us a pallet for the United States. Unfortunately there are not much of these finely crafted beauties to go around but if you can get your hands on a few cases, you will be experiencing some of the best of what Alto Adige has to offer the wine world.
Let the brett nerds retire into protective bubbles, and whenever they thirst for wine it can be passed in to them through a sterile filter. Those of us on the outside can continue to enjoy complex, natural, living wines.
Inspiring Thirst, page 236
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