2013ManincorContessa2013 Manincor, Reserve della Contessa, Terlano Bianco, Alto Adige, Italy.
Near Trentino and Kaltern, the 400 year old estate of Michael Conte Goess-Enzenberg is one of the most exciting and quality wineries in Alto Adige, Count Michael’s Manincor is all demeter certified biodynamic and his wines are absolutely pure and elegant. It was a unique pleasure to meet the Conte, he is very soft spoken and humble, but with a burning intensity and passion for his vines and the beautiful nature of the Dolomites, he shows a respect for tradition, but is intrigued by the future and he has admiration for his region’s other winemakers including Elisabetta Foradori and her amphora wines and the care she puts into her estate. Michael has more than a dozen different varietals to farm and raise, from Merlot, Pinot Nero(Pinot Noir) and Lagrein to Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay along with the classic Terlaner (Sauvignon Blanc) that really stands out here. I enjoyed to tasting through all the current releases with Michael and hear about each wine from the Conte, every wine was precise and wonderfully crafted, the stand outs this time were the Lagrein, the Sauvignon Blanc and the delightful Pinot Nero, but I surprise favorite was his glorious white blend the Reserve della Contessa Terlano Bianco, a near perfect match up of Pinot Bianco 60%, Chardonnay 30% and Sauvignon Blanc 10% making for a savvy and stylish cuvee. The Reserve della Contessa comes from classic Terlan soils, ancient pulverized rock, clay and sand, these are areas that drain well and have west and east facing exposures at about 500 meters above sea level in the Italian Alpes, this leads to vigorous and steely wines bursting with flavor and acidity, and this vivid expression of terroir comes through in dramatic fashion in the Reserve della Contessa white. I’ve had three vintages now of this wine and each year I like it more and more, it shows impressive depth and grace with a greenish golden hue leading to a dense and vibrant palate of lemon/lime, peach, honeyed pear, green apple and gooseberry fruits with lots of saltiness, flinty spice, wet stones and minerality along with hints of white flowers, sweet herbs and it open to a round mouth filling textural feel without being heavy, this is sublime mountain wine. There is an almost German, or Riesling like force running through this wine that really lifts the flavors and gives fantastic extract, energy and structure, but the Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay make it smooth, lush and graceful, drink this beauty anytime over the next 5 to 10 years, this is an exceptional value from a top regional producer, don’t miss any of the Manincor wines, especially this one.
($28 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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