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Not another Chardonnay


There is a new attention directed towards Chardonnay that currently stirs the wine world. The Chardonnays from cold climate regions, in particular, are demonstrating that there’s more to the this grape than over-oaked or over sur-lie-ed (if there is such word) wines. A series of successful emerging regions are getting recognized, featuring old vines, a unique terroir and some serious tradition and determination behind the uncompromising winemaking.

Trying to convince consumers that Chardonnay can be seriously regarded again is not an easy task. Vanilla-sticky Chard has held such a strong hold on wine communications in the mid ’90, that it’s difficult to believe that this omnipresent grape can have something new to show. But perhaps that is precisely the point: since there hardly is a wine-producing region in the world without any Chardonnay, the key is diversity and exploration.

Alois Lageder wineries, owned and managed by the Lageder family for five generations, has its beginnings in a high, alpine valley of Alto Aldige. Over generations, they have dedicated the entire energies of the family to wine business, and acquired several properties around the southernmost tip of Alto Aldige, benefiting from the generous exposures. Passing the knowledge and passion from father to son, from Alois to Alois, the winery expanded and explored new styles, influenced especially by the great Robert Mondavi. Since the beginning of the 1990s, they also innovated in viticulture -about fifty hectares of vineyards adheres to the principles of Biodynamic agriculture.

Tenuta Alois Lageder

Tenuta Alois Lageder

Their Gaun Chardonnay comes from this range of biodynamic-farmed vineyards, where careful attention is paid to details like elevation, slope orientation, micro-geology and micro-climate. The winemaking techniques are gentle and non-intrusive into the grape’s character, followed usually by long periods of maturation either in tanks or in oak barrels. This provides a pronounced varietal character, preserving the acidity, minerality and freshness.

This particular wine from 2012 preserves gracefully its brilliant greenish-yellow color and fresh nose, hinting of tropical flowers, tangerines and almonds, on a citrus base. The mouth feel is rich yet delicate, blending strong mineral notes with allusive buttery and pastry aromas, supported by a steely and vibrant acidity. There is no sign whatsoever of aging or premature oxidation, and I think this wine will retain its freshness and vivacity for many years to come.

I went for a classic dish to pair this wine with  -a poached salmon with cous-cous and Provence herbs. The fluffy yet oily texture of the salmon meat is a perfect match for this mineral and acidic wine, while the slightly chewy cous-cous adds a little texture.

salmon with Italian Chardonnay

salmon with Italian Chardonnay

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This entry was posted on 2 Septembrie 2015 by in English, Vin and tagged , , , , , , , .

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