Had the great pleasure of meeting one of my "Wine Heroes" last week. Not just meeting Alois Lageder, famed Italian winemaker, but participating in a mentored tasting of a number of his single-vineyard biodynamically produced wines from Alto Adige. He makes over 20 different wines in the highlands of the Dolomites. He carefully chooses which grape will be planted at which particular site, reaching such decisions by considering the whole terroir, the complex and total array of all of the natural factors that determine the uniqueness of any given locale. He has been at the forefront of biodynamic agriculture for many years, with the long-term goal being to strengthen the vineyards' biological equilibrium. By increasing the vitality of the vines, their resistance to parasites and disease is enhanced. Allowing full ripening of the grapes, and utilizing gentle vinification processes (such as relying upon gravity vs. the use of pumps), Lageder is able to produce wines of singular typicity. These elegant wines truly taste of their origin. Two of my favorites from the tasting were the 2007 "Benefizium Porer" Pinot Grigio & the 2007 "Haberle"Pinot Bianco. The PG was a shining example of the often-flat varietal. Super-clean, stunning minerality, just enough acidity and some creaminess for balance. Just a hint of lime for the minimal fruit component. The Pinot Bianco, on the other hand, could not have packed more fruit onto the palate. This dry, fresh, vibrant fruit-bomb washed starfruit, green melon, grapefruit, and tart green apple over my beaming tastebuds. Chockfull of fruit flavors and fully supported by crisp minerality. This is the best Pinot Bianco I've ever tasted. This man is a genius, and I hope that he is able to create wines this good for many years to come. While the PG would be great with anything with flippers from the sea, the PB is a super "stand-alone" wine, simply calling for the good times to roll. We are very proud to be able to offer Alois Lageder's wines here at Wines.com, and we wish he and his family continued Great Success.
Cheers, Buckley Wineholt