In this post still dedicated to the Merano experience I will share with you the wines that we have tasted at the fair. The Merano Wine Festival takes place in November, last year was from 8th to 12th November 2019. The first day has been dedicated for many seasons now to organic wines, natural wines and PIWI, which constitute an important part of the reviews. I did not participate to this first day, as you know from my posts I have been visiting Alois Lageder and Mittelberger the first day, but I concentrated my tastings on Northern Italy’s white wines mostly. Check them out here below. Consider that almost 950 companies from Italy and all over the world plus 120 food artisans participate to this fair every year. Finally the last day is dedicated to Champagnes only but we had to leave the day before, so I left myself a reason to come back to the 2020 edition.
From about 40 tastings I made during the day, I have made a selection of the most interesting wines, especially white wines from Alto Adige, which I do not have the chance to taste often while at home, I hope you will enjoy the below.
Les Cretes winery is among the most interesting of those tasted at the festival, it is located in Valle d’Aosta and produces various wines including 4 whites of which I had tasted 2: Chardonnay Cuvée Bois, a wine of incredible intensity, classic notes of banana and vanilla but also citrus, cedar and in the mouth a great elegance. Fleur, the Petit Arvine, with a much more floral and less spicy nose, great flavor in the mouth.
With Nals Margreid we are right in South Tyrol, the host region of the festival. This Cooperative is pretty big and has in total 140 wine growers in 150 hectares of vineyards, and produces various labels from which I have tasted: Sirmian, Pinot Blanc, Magreid, Chardonnay, and Baron Salvador, that is still chardonnay, reserve version. Overall they are wines with an incredible complexity and intensity in the nose and a beautiful range of flavor and acidity in the mouth.
Elena Walch is mostly known for her great Gewursztraminer, awarded several times from critics and I also had the opportunity to taste her Pinot Noir on other occasions which I found one of the best in the region. Here I tasted the Gran Cuvée Beyond the Clouds, Altro Adige DOC, blend of various grapes from the region with a prevalence of Chardonnay. The oaky notes were quite present but without hiding or covering the fruit too much, in the mouth the wine was round and warm, certainly a wine that improves when aged.
Sanct Valentin is the top line of the San Michele Appiano winery. I could talk about these wines for hours because I know them pretty well and I also had the chance to taste them in various occasion even in older vintages and I must say without any doubt that their whites wines are truly extraordinary especially when aged. As younger vintages the ones I have tasted in Merano were for sure wines with a great potential, still not at their best but already pleasant, their guiding thread is undoubtedly the elegance and the freshness, the acidity component, always medium high gives these wines the characteristic to age pretty well.
Vie di Romans, another winery that I gladly follow since a couple of years now, but I haven’t tasted a bottle for long time at that moment. I am a big fan of their Malvasia Istriana, which is always one of my favorite whites. The Sauvignon Vieris is a wine with beautiful notes of tropical fruit, well structured and pretty smooth in the mouth with aromatic returns of the same pineapple, mango and passion fruit.
I had the opportunity to taste this Gewurztraminer Riserva 2009 from Baron di Pauli pfor the first time. I must say it really impressed me, not only of course for the great freshness and youth after ten years from the harvest, but for its breadth and aromatic complexity. I usually do not drink aromatic wines very often as I do not really like their notes very much but this wine was out of standards. I rally hope to have the chance to taste it again, maybe in a more relaxed situation, sitting in a restaurant and enjoying the whole bottle to see how it evolves.
Here we are in Tuscany, a land certainly not famous for its whites but more for its reds. But I really wanted to taste this white from Caiarossa because it is a winery that works very well in my opinion. We are in Riparbella, near Bolgheri and they are bio-dynamic. Chardonnay and Viogner in the blend, a very marine interpretation, with lots of minerality and savory notes as main protagonist.
Now let’s move on for a couple of sparkling, with Mosnel we are in Franciacorta, I have a great fondness for this wine and every time I am reconfirmed. This bottle is their Rosé Pas Dosé, with a lot of notes of small red fruits, but it’s in the mouth that it gives great flavors and freshness, incredible soft perlage, super long finish, a very complex wine.
I could not have ended this festival without tasting this great myth of sparkling wines, Ferrari Trento DOC. There is little to say about this wine that has not been said already it is excellent from the entry level wine to their Reserve. This one is the classic Brut which has very pleasant notes of fruit (yellow and white, crunchy) and bread crust. In the mouth great acidity and finesse, not as long finish as the Mosnel I had before, but still a great wine. Probably the best quality/price classic method sparkling in Italy in my opinion.
The Merano Wine Festival has been for me an occasion to discover the beautiful whites of Northern Italy and to receive some confirmations. A very popular and well organized event in a wonderful location, almost fabulous. For wine lovers and enthusiast it is absolutely a must-to-attend at least once in a lifetime.