Vinous Tasting Notes by Eric Guido

There’s a certain string of energy, mixed with balanced opulence, that ties the wines of this family estate together. The winery is run by husband-and-wife team Ignaz Niedrist and Elisabeth Berger. Their vineyards are located throughout the region, and they use the best sources for each varietal. The warm flatlands of Bolzano are used for the reds, while the whites are farmed through the gentle hills of Cornaiano and up into the high elevations of Appiano Monte. While not certified, the family practices organic farming, and yields are kept drastically low, nearly one-third from what regulations state. Their varieties of choice are Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and old-vine Lagrein from a pergola-trained vineyard at Elisabeth Berger’s family estate. They also make a Schiava that I have yet to come across. While a number of wines this year hail from the di!cult 2018 vintage, you’d never know by tasting them. The balance found throughout their Pinot Noirs and Lagrein is amazing, and the 2018 Blauburgunder Riserva is a gem. If anything, the 2020 Sauvignon and Weißburgunder (Pinot Bianco) fell slightly behind the 2019s tasted last year, likely the result of the warm vintage, yet still showing wonderful varietal purity. In a region populated by cooperatives, this small artisan estate shines.

From: Trentino & Alto Adige: The Sky’s the Limit (June 2022)

94 2018 Blauburgunder Riserva

The 2018 Blauburgunder Riserva is gorgeous, with crushed ashen stone giving way to mint, cedar spice box, dried black cherries and dusty rose. This is velvety, nearly creamy in feel, yet perfectly balanced, displaying mineral-tinged red berries and hints of clove, as grippy tannins slowly build toward the close. The 2018 turns salty through the finale, tapering off savory and grippy under an air of purple-toned inner florals and hints of licorice. Some time will be required to let this come fully into focus, but it will be worth the wait. The Riserva ferments and ages in barriques (only 25% new) for twelve to fourteen months, and while this adds textural depth, the aromas and flavors are pure Pinot Noir.

93 2018 Lagrein Riserva Berger Gei 

The 2018 Lagrein Riserva Gries Berger Gei boasts a dark, inky red color in the glass, with an intense mix of crushed cherries, blackberries, cloves and allspice forming its deeply alluring bouquet. This is pure elegance, rich and intense, with its saturating depths of wild berry fruit, yet nicely balanced by brisk acids and purple and blue-toned inner florals that arch across the palate. Its tannins are present yet sweet, framing the expression perfectly, as the 2018 tapers off long and staining with mineral tinged currants and spice. The vintage may not have imparted this rendition of Gries Berger Gei with the power and hulking structure of previous years, but instead has created a truly lovely Lagrein with more near-term appeal.

92 2019 Mitterberg Weiss Trias

The 2019 Weiss Trias is captivating as delicate 
nuances of peach tea, cardamom, mint leaf and fresh pine dazzle the senses. While silky and textural, this is also finessed and lifted, balancing bitter hints of almond and savory spice against ripe apple tinged with green citrus. It leaves cooling herbal tones and a gentle pinch of salty minerals to linger while tapering off lightly-structured. The 2019 impresses with grace instead of power. The Weiss Trias Mitterberg is a blend of 80% Chardonnay, 10% Petit Manseng and 10% Incrocio Manzoni.

91 2018 Blauburgunder Riserva Vom Kalk

An incredibly pretty mix of vivid black cherry, cinnamon, cloves and balsam herbs forms an inviting bouquet as the 2018 Blauburgunder Vom Kalk opens in the glass. It’s like pure silk on the palate, with a balanced inner sweetness that gives way to red berries laced with hints of citrus and autumnal spice. Rosy florals and licorice tones resonate throughout the long yet remarkably fresh finale, as the Vom Kalk finishes lightly structured and refined. What a darling of a Pinot Noir. This hails from a cool location with calcareous clay soils in Appiano Monte at around 500 to 550 meters in
elevation. It’s fermented in open-top oak vats for about two weeks, followed by malolactic fermentation and aging in barriques for 15 months.