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On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Report From: Wines of Alto Adige - Good / Better / Best

24 Sep 2019

Intro …

Alto Adige, and interesting blend of recognizably international (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir) and indigenous (Lagrein and Schiava) – German and Italian culture (each winery carries a name in both “official” languages … in the north of Italy surrounded by the Tyrol mountains (aka Dolomites) … in this place of limited grape plantings, I found some very good wine with an interesting balance of power and acidity, freshness and ease of drinking, weight and lightness – it is about dichotomy all around.

How does one market such a place? Even the Sudtirol-ians (another name for Alto Adige) don’t know – but here, during this anteprima (presentation of wines before they come to market) I find a number of wines that will do very well on any market.

While some wines were bottled and ready, a number were still awaiting a release date – some within a few months, some next year. So out of respect to them all I present my Good / Better / Best (potential) list of the close to 200 wines available for sample.

The Wines … Tasting Room Alto Adige

… Good …

Arunda Metodo Classico Spumante Phineas 3
Cantina Andriano 2017 Lagrein Riserva Tor di Lupo
Baron di Pauli 2017 Lagrein Riserva Carano
Josef Brigl 2018 Chardonnay Seduction
Josef Brigl 2017 Lagrein Riserva Meisterlinie
Castel Sallegg 2016 Merlot Nussleiten
Castel Sallegg 2016 Merlot Riserva
Castelfeder 2016 Chardonnay Riserva Burgum Novum
Tenuta Egger-Ramer 2018 Lagrein Gries Kristian
Tenuta Eichenstein 2018 Pinot Nero Amantus
Cantina Valle Isarco 2018 Valle Isarco Kerner Sabiona
Erste + Neue 2018 Chardonnay Puntay
Cantina Girlan 2017 Pinot Bianco Riserva Flora
Cantina Girlan 2018 Sauvignon
Tenuta Griesbauerhof 2017 Lagrein Riserva
Malojer, Gummerhof 2016 Lagrein Riserva
Gump Hof, Markus Prackwieser 2016 Sauvignon Riserva Renaissance
Franz Haas 2014 Pinot Nero Ponkler
Tenuta Kofererhof 2018 Valle Isarco Sylvaner R
Tenuta Loacker 2011 Vigneti delle Dolomiti Chardonnay Ateyon
Baron Longo 2018 Vigneti delle Dolomiti Solaris Sichlburg
Baron Longo 2017 Mitterberg Lagrein Friedberg
Manincor 2017 Pinot Nero Mason di Mason
Manincor 2016 Vigneti delle Dolomiti Rosso Castel Campan
K. Martini & Sohn 2017 Lagrein Maturum
Nals Margreid 2018 Pinot Grigio Punggl
Niklas 2017 Lagrein Riserva Libellula
Obermoserhof 2018 S. Maddalena Classico Noblis
Tenuta Pacherhof Valle Isarco Sylvaner Alte Reben
Bergkellerei Passeier Vino Rosso Rombo
Tenuta Plonerhof 2018 Sauvignon Exclusiv
Tenuta Ritterhof 2017 Pinot Grigio Opes
Tenuta Riterhof 2018 Sauvignon Paratus
Cantina Colterenzio 2018 Pinot Bianco Berg
Cantina Colterenzio 2017 Pinot Nero Riserva S. Daniel
Cantina Produttori San Paolo 2017 Pinot Bianco Riserva Passion
Cantina Produttori San Paolo 2017 Lagrein Riserva Passion
Tiefenbruner 2017 Pinot Nero Riserva Linticlarus
Tiefenbruner 2016 Cabernet Sauvingon Riserva Toren
Untermoserhof 2018 Pinot Bianco Kristallberg
Untermoserhof 2018 Gewurztraminer Vigna Kastelaz
Peter Zemmer 2017 Pinot Nero Riserva Vigna Kofl

… Better …

Gloria WineCastel Sallegg 2018 Pinot Nero
Castelfeder 2016 Pinot Nero Riserva Burgum Novum
Tenuta Egger-Ramer 2016 Lagrein Riserva Gries Kristian
Cantina Girlan 2018 Schiava Gschleier Alte Rebe
Malojer, Gummerhof 2016 Lagrein Riserva
Tenuta Klosterhof 2018 Pinot Bianco Acapella
Tenuta Klosterhof 2017 Pinot Nero Schwarze Madonna
Tenuta Kofererhof 2018 Valle Isarco Pinot Grigio Alte Reben
Nals Margreid 2017 Merlot-Cabernet Riserva
Nusserhof 2013 Vino Rosso Gloria
Obermoserhof 2017 Lagrein Riserva Grafenleiten
Tenuta Pacherhof 2017 Vigneti delle Dolomiti Bianco Private Cuvee Andreas Huber
Tenuta Plonerhof 2017 Pinot Nero Riserva
Tenuta Hans Rottensteiner 2017 Lagrein Grieser Riserva SelectAmistar
Cantina Colterenzio 2018 Gewurztraminer Lafoa
Tenuta Peter Solva 2016 Rosso Gran Riserva Amistar
Tenuta Peter Solva 2016 Cabernet Franc Amistar
Cantina Produttori San Paolo 2018 Sauvignon Passion
Tiefenbruner 2018 Muller Thurgau Feldmarschall von Fenner
Untermoserhof 2018 S. Maddalena Classico Hub
Elena Walch 2016 Lagrein Riserva Vigna Castel Ringberg
Peter Zemmer 2017 Chardonnay Riserva Vigna Crivelli

Kalterersee… Best …

Tenuta Klosterhof 2018 Lago di Caldaro Classico Superiore Plantaditsch
Cantina Produttori San Paolo 2017 Blauburgunder Riserva Passion
Ansitz Waldgries 2016 Lagrein Roblinus de’ Waldgries




Washington Story 2 : Sinister / Powers / Woodward

27 Aug 2019

April 1, 2019 ... Yes it was April Fool's but there was nothing funny on a bus in Washington State where we were deadly serious about learning  what makes Washington wine so damn good and yet at the same time they are having  a lot of fun with it.

Kicking our day off at Owen Roe, who had, up to this point, the best rosé of the trip (oh, but wait, the best rosé is still to come). The winery was established in 1999 in Oregon to focus on Pinot Noir, but then 10 years later bought a Washington property to make other reds and whites … but it was the reds that truly impressed including a bottle with a severed hand on it. Owen Roe Wines

2016 Sinister Hand ... (****+)
2015 Syrah ... (****+)
2016 Yakima Valley Red … (*** ½+)

(click on the above names to read the full review)


Next stop on our journey: Powers Winery.  A 71-acre property with vineyards up to 1,000 feet above sea level. Organic since 1988 and certified in 1990 - they produce 1 million bottles a year, though it grows only 8% of what they require.Powers in the vineyard

2016 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ... (*** ½+)
2015 Columbia Valley Syrah … (****)
2014 Reserve Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ... (****+)

(click on the above names to read the full review)


Last stop was for dinner at Woodward Canyon, started by Washington pioneer Rick Small in 1981 (at the time one of the first wineries in Washington State) - after dinner, and the wines tasted below, Rick opened up the door to his cellar to let us try some Washington State history with his 1999 and 1987 Cabernets.

Woodward Wines2017 Chardonnay … (*** ½+)
2015 "Artist Series #24" Cabernet Sauvignon ... (*** ½+)
2016 "Old Vines" Cabernet Sauvignon ... (****+)

(click on the above names to read the full review)



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