Alois Lageder is one of the most popular and well-respected wine producers in Alto Adige, that part of Italy in the Dolomite Mountains bordering the Alps. Alto Adige was once part of Austria and is also known as Südtirol.
Lageder makes very enjoyable wines, especially white, that are also generally quite affordable. Many of the grapes are estate grown and are biodynamic, plus Lageder, a patron of the arts, has received considerable attention for playing classical music to the slumbering wines in some of his cellars.
The winery itself is quite beautiful and a wonderful place to visit should you find yourself in the region near the lovely city of Bolzano, north of Verona.
Here are the recent releases from three of the winery’s product lines, Alois Lageder, Tenutae Lageder and Riff:
2012 Riff Terra Alpina Pinot grigio ($10): Apple-pear fruitiness with some bitters around the edges — full, pleasant, uncomplicated.
2012 Alois Lageder “Dolomiti” Pinot grigio IGT ($15): Quite interesting, complex wine with good balance — first tart, prickly fruit followed by mellow apples, then chalky notes and a finish of apple skins. Full without being heavy, this is my ‘Pick of the Litter.’
2012 Tenutae Lageder “Porer” Alto Adige Pinot grigio ($25): From biodynamic grapes, there are nice notes here of citrus and pineapple to go along with the crisp apples. There is lot of energy in this wine; quite nice.
2012 Alois Lageder “Dolomiti” Pinot bianco IGT ($14): Nice and lively with moderate green fruits, a little minty, and some white pepper on the edges; pairs well with shellfish.
2012 Alois Lageder “Haberle” Alto Adige Pinot bianco ($22): Aged on fine lees, this is a mellow, creamy wine, yet one with crispness, very nice complexity, and savory notes on the finish. I kept thinking veal scallopini with a dash of lemon as I was writing my notes.
2012 Alois Lageder “Dolomiti” Müller Thurgau IGT ($15) Müller Thurgau is a fairly popular grape in Alto Adige, where it makes better wine than most places. Here it has an earthy apple flavor with some nice minerality.