Alto Adige dodges the furor, continues Tre Bicchieri run
Amidst the fury enveloping Friulian winemakers accused of illegally using flavor-enhancing additives in their Sauvignon Blanc (Jeremy Parzen has it well-covered here), the news comes without such concern that Alto Adige continues to sparkle.
This far-northern Italy winemaking region, split by the Adige River and with expanses of vineyards running high into the limestone foothills of the Dolomites, perhaps is best known for its crisp, elegant white wines yet 40 percent of the wines from the Sudtirol region are rossos.
That split was reflected when the latest regional results were released by the Gambero Rosso, Italy’s leading wine guide. The guide’s coveted 2016 “Tre Bicchieri” awards went to 27 Alto Adige wineries and of the 27 “Tre Bicchieri” wines 17 are whites.
Winning a Tre Bicchieri (Three Glasses) award is much more than simply accruing street cred. Having the famed reputation is akin to being awarded a Michelin three-star award: The wines’ sales can soar, it offers winemakers some “flexiblity” in pricing and it puts you on a world tour (three stops in the U.S.) which offers unprecedented exposure to the important American wine market.
Of the 27 Alto Adige “Tre Bicchieri” winners, four were Pinot Bianco; three each of Sylvaner and Riesling; two Guwurtztraminers and two Saubvignon Blancs; a Müller Thurgau, a Terlano and a white blend.
The red wines included two Schiava wines (also known as Trollinger and Vernatsch, at 850 hectares the most-cultivated grape in Alto Adige); four Lagrein, two Cabernet Sauvignon and a Pinot Noir. Also awarded was the Moscato Giallo Passito Serenade 2012, a sweet wine from the Cantina Kaltern Caldaro.
I was pleased to see the highly respected Alois Lageder be awarded a Tre Bicchieri for his Alto Adige Cabernet Sauvignon Cor Römigberg 2011. Each spring Lageder sponsors Summa, which invites around 70 quality-conscious winemakers from all over the world to the historical Casòn Hirschprunn in Magrè, This year was the 17th and was held March 21-22, attracting about 2,000 visitors from 35 countries. In collaboration with the charity Help without Frontiers, Summa collectis in excess of 37,000 € (about $42,000) for several projects in Burma.
More Tre Bicchieri results will come as they are released.