Pliger Kuenhof Veltliner 2008

Winemaker's Notes:

The Brenner Pass contains the Valle Isarco ('Eisacktal' in German), a “sweet spot” of 238 hectares of prime winegrowing land between the town of Castelrotto northeast of Bolzano and Novacella north of Bressanone. Now farmed by a passionate group of young winemakers, the pioneer who first drew attention to Valle Isarco's wines is Peter Pliger. The other “young lions” in the area universally admire and respect Pliger's methods and his desire to allow the vineyard's expressions to become manifest in the wines he carefully nurtures. Pliger and the rest of the area's growers employ similar winemaking methods (i.e. organic farming, stainless steel and acacia vats with no barrique, no malolactic fermentation) to produce what Gambero Rosso deems “[wines of] amazing minerality and complexity. They need long aging before expressing themselves with depth and fascinating luminosity.” Peter Pliger, proprietor and winemaker at this tiny property (only about 2,500 cases are produced annually), is considered to be a pacesetter for the Valle Isarco region, which is located in the normally cooler northern portion of Südtirol. His organically cultivated vines exhibit an aromatic profile and stony minerality that differ from those grown just north or south of his property and are expressive of a unique terroir. Biologically responsible farming is essential, Pliger asserts, if the microflora in the soil are to properly convert the various mineral elements into the soluble form needed by the vines. He grows only Sylvaner, Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Veltliner; the last two in particular are striking wines, perhaps reflecting Pliger's admiration for Rieslings of the Mosel and Veltliners of the Wachau in Austria (where they are called Grüner Veltliner). In particular, climate and soil are quite similar to those of the Wachau and, although there are older plantings - and more experience - of Veltliner in that region, those from Kuenhof are equally compelling. The Veltliner has exuberant honeysuckle aromas. The sweet entry reveals white peach and a medley of avocado and sweet baby peas. Very rich and fat, with an almost unctuous level of glycerol. At the same time, though, the wine exhibits wonderful freshness and clarity that offset any sense of heaviness. An extraordinary Gruner Veltliner from the Valle Isarco.

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Winery: Kuenhof
Color: White
Varietal: Grüner Veltliner
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The Brenner Pass contains the Valle Isarco ('Eisacktal' in German), a “sweet spot” of 238 hectares of prime winegrowing land between the town of Castelrotto northeast of Bolzano and Novacella north of Bressanone. Now farmed by a passionate group of young winemakers, the pioneer who first drew attention to Valle Isarco's wines is Peter Pliger. The other “young lions” in the area universally admire and respect Pliger's methods and his desire to allow the vineyard's expressions to become manifest in the wines he carefully nurtures. Pliger and the rest of the area's growers employ similar winemaking methods (i.e. organic farming, stainless steel and acacia vats with no barrique, no malolactic fermentation) to produce what Gambero Rosso deems “[wines of] amazing minerality and complexity. They need long aging before expressing themselves with depth and fascinating luminosity.” Peter Pliger, proprietor and winemaker at this tiny property (only about 2,500 cases are produced annually), is considered to be a pacesetter for the Valle Isarco region, which is located in the normally cooler northern portion of Südtirol. His organically cultivated vines exhibit an aromatic profile and stony minerality that differ from those grown just north or south of his property and are expressive of a unique terroir. Biologically responsible farming is essential, Pliger asserts, if the microflora in the soil are to properly convert the various mineral elements into the soluble form needed by the vines. He grows only Sylvaner, Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Veltliner; the last two in particular are striking wines, perhaps reflecting Pliger's admiration for Rieslings of the Mosel and Veltliners of the Wachau in Austria (where they are called Grüner Veltliner). In particular, climate and soil are quite similar to those of the Wachau and, although there are older plantings - and more experience - of Veltliner in that region, those from Kuenhof are equally compelling. The Veltliner has exuberant honeysuckle aromas. The sweet entry reveals white peach and a medley of avocado and sweet baby peas. Very rich and fat, with an almost unctuous level of glycerol. At the same time, though, the wine exhibits wonderful freshness and clarity that offset any sense of heaviness. An extraordinary Gruner Veltliner from the Valle Isarco.

Dietary Information: Organic


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