Less of It but Good Results
Very good qualities with Alto Adige white wines, typical Schiavas, outstanding Pinot Noirs and Lagreins from the good locations, and – after having gotten accustomed to the outstanding 2009 and 2011 vintages – average qualities with Merlots and Cabernets: that’s how the 2012 vintage has turned out in Alto Adige.
“Less of it but good results!” That is the basic tone with the assessment of the wines from the 2012 harvest. In particular, the harvest quantities are around ten percent below the multiyear average. “In spite of several weather-related challenges, the quality is good in every respect,” says Hans Terzer, winemaker of the St. Michael Eppan Winery and president of the Alto Adige Winemakers’ Association. “The somewhat lower sugar values reduce the alcohol content in the wines, while the good acidity levels provide freshness and elegance. And the white wines are presenting themselves with nicer fruit and as full-bodied, fresh, savory, and mineral-rich.”
On the whole, the 2012 Alto Adige white wines are very drinkable, juicy, savory, high-quality wines. It is especially the Chardonnays, Pinot Biancos, and Pinot Grigios that come off well with elegance and fullness. The Sauvignon Blancs distinguish themselves through an inviting aroma profile, while the Gewürztraminers stand out with their typical characteristics of the variety with a heavy emphasis on fruit.”
The varietal characteristics also came through in 2012 as a typical vintage for Alto Adige Schiava (Vernatsch). “The wines present themselves with intense hues and mature, soft tannins,” says Christian Plattner of the Ansitz Waldgries Estate in Bolzano with pleasure. “They are elegant, with fresh acidity and inviting drinkability – precisely the way a typical Schiava ought to be.” With the red wines, the Pinot Noirs and Lagreins also came out quite well. “The Pinot Noirs prove themselves with quality, elegance, and a great deal of fruit,” comments Christof Tiefenbrunner from the Turmhof Castle Winery in Kurtatsch regarding this year’s vintage. “They are lean and juicy, with supple tannins and an inviting fullness. With the Lagreins, those from the good locations have also turned out with good qualities, with lovely, intense fruit and mature tannins.”
With a year like 2012 that was only mediocre in terms of weather, though, some of the qualities only turned out average. This includes above all else the Merlots and Cabernets. The late-ripening Cabernet was in fact the one that suffered the most from the rainfall at the end of the harvest. “In spite of that, we are expecting with the Merlots and Cabernets, although with some fluctuations, wines with intense color that are full-bodied, very accessible, and extremely quaffable,” Tiefenbrunner adds.