Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio Dolomiti 2007

Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio Dolomiti 2007, IGT

Sometimes, things which are innately different combine to create a new experience. Mother Nature knows this. Every morning, she rolls up her sleeves and busily glues together Alpine and Mediterranean landscapes, ergo uniting a collection of German and Italian traditions that create the geo-cultural experience known as Alto Adige.

The greatness of Alto Adige is found in its incredible individuality: the greatness of Alois Lageder is that he manages to capture that individuality in a bottle.

alois-lageder-pinot-grigio-dolomiti-thumbThe Lageder family wine cellar was established at Bolzano in the mid-1850’s and became well known early on for a focus on quality that today remains a guiding principle at Lageder. The business expanded in the 1930’s with an acquisition of the Löwengang estate in Magrè and afterward with purchases of other vineyards in the area. Today, the business is run by Alois Lageder and oenolgist brother-in-law Luis von Dellemann who is responsible for the winemaking.

The many asymmetric natural factors that comprise Alto Adige terrain result in local sites of varied but specific characteristics. It is part of the Lageder approach to deeply understand these nuances and to match the grape to its preferred growing conditions.

Interesting bottle label: the photograph by Elisabeth Holzl, “…shows the passage of light through a perforated surface, and thus refers to respiration, to the porosity of the soil, and the leaves of the vine, to the exchanges always taking place between the earth and the surrounding atmosphere.”*

Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio Dolomiti is produced from 100% Pinot Grigio grapes sourced from vineyards in Magrè and Salorno slightly southwest of Bolzano and from the northern part of Trentino. Soils tend to be of sand and gravel with a high limestone content. Daytime temperatures are warm with wide fluctuation between evening temperatures.

Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks followed by maturation on the lees for 4 months. Lageder’s wines are natural and adhere to the tenets of organic wine making.

Tasting Notes / Impressions:

Core color of golden summer straw highlighted by magnificent, diffused greens. Clean citrus and flower aromas, smooth melon on the palate, notes of lime, and sexy, racy acidity. Super fresh finish.

Food Pairing Suggestions:

Generally speaking, fish, poultry, shellfish, will all be good pairings, but standouts include: Pâté & Terrines, consider liver pâté topped with bacon and sauteed mushrooms, or a smoked salmon terrine; Baccalà alla Vicentina; Chicken salad with peaches and bacon; a simple starter of smoked herring.


*Artist label quote taken from the rear label of Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio Dolomiti 2007.

Selvapiana: Chianti Rufina


selvapiana-chianti-rufina-2005-2–Selvapiana Chianti Rufina 2005
–Selvapiana Chianti Rufina 2007

Like the magnificent ceramics of Romano Innocenti, Selvapiana Chianti Rufina is a unique expression of style and the natural world. I find a certain finesse, purity, and a freshness in both that speak to me of rural Tuscany.

[ Incidentally, you can find out more about Romano Innocenti and his ceramic works here. ]

The Selvapiana estate is located east of Florence in the Rufina subzone, the smallest geographical subzone of the Chianti production area. Selvapiana and Rufina winemaking have gone hand in hand for an astonishing 182 years across five generations since the estate was purchased in 1827 by Michele Giuntini Selvapiana. The wines of Selvapiana demonstrate the uniqueness of Rufina terroir and are known for their longevity. Heirs Silvia and Federico (Giuntini) Masseti manage operations day to day. Franco Bernabei has been consulting oenologist at Selvapiana since 1978.

Please do dust off your wine map, locate Chianti, and then, locate Rufina, just northeast of Florence, in the top right of the Chianti zone. Rufina’s northerly situation, in comparison to the other Chianti subzones, yields a somewhat longer growing season with exaggerated differences between day and night temperatures. Grapes tend to ripen more slowly. The oscillation of temperature, in combination with the high percentage of limestone in the Rufina soil influences the wine profile toward pronounced aromatics, higher acidity, and a structure suited to extended aging. The wines of Rufina express terroir with as much individuality and distinction as any of its sister Chianti subzones.

Selvapiana Chianti Rufina is comprised of Sangiovese and a small amount (approx. 5%) of Canaiolo from various Selvapiana estate vineyards at altitudes of up to 200 meters. The soil is galestro – a typical rocky Tuscan soil – mixed with clay and limestone. Fermentation is carried out in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and traditional glass-lined concrete vats. Frequent pumpovers and punchdowns are performed encouraging extraction and color. 30% of the wine goes to stainless steel tanks for maturation; 50% heads off to oak casks; and 20% find its way to barriques. After blending, the wine is further refined in French oak casks for 10 months; then, the wine is laid down in bottle for an additional 3 months before release.

Tasting Notes:

Selvapiana Chianti Rufina 2005

This is a traditionally styled, well bred chianti with classic aromatics of dried cherries, tobacco, leather, herbs, and earth. Wonderfully concentrated flavors of cherry, strawberry, and a hint of balsam, swirl with delicious acidity around fine, round tannins. An exceedingly fresh and satisfyingly long mineral finish.

Selvapiana Chianti Rufina 2007

Medium garnet color and a delicate perfume of dried cherries, plums, earth and spice. As with the 2005, cherry and strawberry flavors predominate the palate, with grace notes here of powdered chocolate and herb, underscored by good acidity. Supple and classic, with smooth tannins and a softness at the edges that make for a rather elegant, easy drinkability.

NOTE: I found the wine benefitted by a good 20 minutes of air time.

Food pairing suggestions:

Roasted / grilled meats, especially with herbs; pork or veal chops wrapped with prosciutto; pasta dishes, particularly when flavored with mushrooms or rich sauces; hearty soups; cheeses.