December 16, 2011

Tramin Winery, Alto Adige, Italy

By In Vineyard & Wine Travel, Wine Notes
It’s a rather dramatic building; vibrantly painted struts form abstract shapes with the windows reflecting the forested mountains behind. The Tramin winery nestled under these crags overlooks a flat, almost featureless plain that folds on down to a river. The only thing one can see as the land stretches away to another range of mountains are vineyards, acres and acres of them.

This northern edge of Italy has huge Germanic influence, from the buildings, the dialect, the multi-lingual signs and the grape varieties – Gewurztraminer and Riesling for example. And here we were, marvelling at the view from inside this architectural wonder to taste the fruits from this landscape.

Not quite the full Tramin range I don’t believe but a fair stab at the upper ranges. From Pinot Grigio, white blends, various vintages of Gewurztraminer through to reds in the shape of a Pinot Noir and a Legrein.

Wine bottles, Tramin, Alto Adige, Italy

From this cornucopia it was the blends and the single vineyard wines that really excited. The Santa Moriz vineyard gave a fine minerally textured Pinot Bianco from 2010 [Adegga / Snooth] while the Unterebner Pinot Grigio 2010, [Adegga / Snooth] picked from a vineyard right at the limit of elevated grape growing, showed superb aromatics all down to its lofty location. “A very unique Pinot Grigio… where malolatic fermentation gives a greenness to the wines”.

The Tramin Stoan [Adegga / Snooth] of which we sampled the 2010 against the 2006 and 2004 vintages is a mix of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Bianco. Each is fermented seperatly with the final blend altering slightly each year “depending on the quality and aromatics of the Chardonnay”. Typically the Chardonnay dominates with 60-65% in the blend. I loved the fine mineral finish, crisp acidic backbone and nice weight with, perhaps the 2006 scraping through as the favourite due to its slightly richer palate, from a “fine, very ripe vintage”.

The Nussbaumer Gewurztraminer [Adegga / Snooth] (of which we sampled the 2010, 2009, 2006, 2003 and 2000 vintages) is a regular award winner.

“The Nussbaumer is always one of the best Gewurztraminers around, with its fragrant varietal aromas, noble mineral hints and a full-bodied, decisive flavour that shows great character. But then the whole range is impressive.” – Gambero Rosso Italian Wine Guide.

Personally I prefer the younger, more vibrant, edgy vintages. The 2010 offers a lovely, complex aroma (honeysuckle, hint of violets) with weighty, sweet fruit. “loud on the nose” apparently!

While not really taken with the reds Maglen Pinot Noir 2008 [Adegga / Snooth] and Urban Lagrein 2009 [Adegga / Snooth] you really do need to sample the Terminum Late Harvest Gewurztraminer [Adegga / Snooth]. This peach dipped, botrytis enveloped wonder develops a lovely treacle edge with age. A marvellous sweet wine, one where the bottle was emptied after the tasting I noted…

Tramin is a co-operative, established in 1898, gathers grapes from its 270 members who get paid according to the quality of their grapes rather than the quantity. Tramin is the third oldest co-operative in the area. In the UK head on over to Great Wines Direct, Corking Wines, Strictly Wine and ViniItaliani to purchase. For another take on the wines and the visit do please head over to SipSwooshSpit where Paola gives her thoughts on the visit.

One wonders where the inspiration for the labels came from…

Photo Gallery: Tramin Winery, Alto Adige, Italy

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