Zeni Sorti 2007, Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT
After seeing photos of grandfather Roberto Zeni and grandson Roberto Zeni – and I say this with great affection – 4 generations in the wine business remain connected both in name and moustache !
What began in the late 1800’s when Roberto Zeni secured a tavern license and poured Teroldego from a first vineyard harvest has, since the mid-1970’s, been transformed by the brothers Zeni, Roberto and Andrea, with great attention to tradition, innovation and quality. The brothers were educated at the distinguished San Michele School of Wine. Today, Azienda Agricola Zeni specializes in wines made from the rather unusual, but exciting grape varietals found native to Trento.
Geography: let your mind reach north at Verona and look as the crow flies toward Innsbruck and Munich. Zeni is located in Grumo, a hamlet of the municipality San Michele all’Adige, about 15 km north of Trento, in a tradition-rich region of Italy called Trentino-Alto Adige where local customs blend Tyrol and Italian influences.
Zeni Sorti 2007 is produced from predominately Pinot Blanc and Riesling harvested from Guyot pruned vines planted in rocky, alluvial soil with a layer of river silt. The winemaking is unique and masterfully carried out: the Pinot grapes are harvested and allowed to dry naturally for about 4 weeks, bringing about a concentration of aroma and flavor; the Riesling is allowed maximum time on the vine and harvested late. For Pinot, fermentation is carried out in oak barrels at low, controlled temperature, with time allowed on the lees; the Riesling is done separately in steel tanks. Blended in the Spring, the wine is bottled and allowed a brief rest.
Tasting Notes / Impressions:
Don’t let the grape-drying process – normally associated with “dessert” wines – through you off track: this wine is gorgeously dry and complex. The wine’s warm, glowing shade of straw yellow color is as inviting as a light in the window. Hints of vanilla and cinnamon that seem to linger for a moment, vanish, and then return provide intrigue to a perfume of tropical fruit, pear and mountain herbs. The wine’s good weight and rich mouth-feel are a nice counterpoint to its delicate layers of fruit. Note of lightly toasted bread. Delicious acidity and minerality set up for a dry, persistent, elegant finish.
Food Pairing Suggestions:
APPETIZERS: especially that include prosciutto, speck, pate, white or green asparagus; SOUPS: rich, hearty soups, such as with “Canerderli”(like dumplings) flavored with porcini or liver; RISOTTO: try this wine with apple risotto scented with cinnamon; FISH: most kinds of fish and seafood will work, but lake fish, prawns and sea bass will be especially nice; PASTA: dressed with light cream sauces flavored with mushrooms, speck, prosciutto, or seafood. CHEESES: younger, Alpine style cheeses