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2020 Südtirol Eisacktaler Sylvaner

Manni Nössing
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Manni is a towering, stubbly, Alpine hulk of a man with a comical cynicism about the modern wine world, as if Woody Harrelson grew several inches taller, threw on a baseball cap, and launched into a bombastic tirade in a mixture of German and Italian, grunting and sighing about Italian consumers’ tasteless appetite for insipid bulk wines. All that is to say he shares our aversion to “pop wines” that reflect a winemaking formula—you’ll see that his wines are anything but banal. His Sylvaner from high in the Dolomites is a finely channeled mountain breeze, an exercise in textural delicacy that will leave your palate tingling with the sensation of crispy minerals.

Anthony Lynch


Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Sylvaner
Appellation: Alto Adige – Valle Isarco
Country: Italy
Region: Alto Adige
Producer: Manni Nössing
Winemaker: Manni Nössing
Vineyard: 2-8 years , 0.3 ha
Soil: Sandy, Granite
Farming: Sustainable
Alcohol: 12.5%

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About The Region

Alto Adige

map of 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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Sampling wine out of the barrel.

When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174