One of the lessons we love to teach our customers when we get the chance is there are SO many white wine styles available from Italy that exist beyond the mass marketed Pinot Grigios and Soaves. The country has so many cultures and climates that run throughout the peninsula, providing wines and wine styles almost as diverse as the reds. The Alto Adige is part of the Veneto region in general, but was a part of Austria-Hungary until after World War I and much of that cultural influence still remains. The family and township names have a distinctly Bavarian tone, and the winemaking reflects that as well. Pinot Grigio is important here, but the real diversity of Alto Adige shows in the success with varieties like Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and Pinot Bianco. Outside of Alsace and Germany, no other region has as much focus on using those grapes, and consumers often forget how tasty they can be. Kellerei Kaltern (also referred to as Cantina Kaltern from time to time) is a smaller yet discrimination co-operative producer that has always had several wines our store, simply because the value they deliver is unbeatable from the region. This bottling is a tier up from their 'everyday' wines, but the quality step up is immense.
Sometimes Pinot Blanc/Pinot Bianco is thought of as a 'neutral' smelling variety, but from the first pour this has loads of juicy pear and white fleshed fruits on the aroma, as well as cooling mint tones that reflect the alpine environment of the vineyards. The palate has a great richness and round texture without any hint of sweetness, thanks to a small portion of the wine being aged in large multi-use barrels. No barrel flavors or buttery creaminess as people often associate with 'barrel aging', just an oxygen-rich vessel that takes a bit of the harder edges off without loosing the natural flavors of the grape.A hint of tannin on the finish from the skins and soft spring-water like acidity keep the fruit fresh and inviting throughout, making this a perfect warm weather sipping wine with a nice chill on it, or substantial enough for all sorts of lighter to mid-weight dishes.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!