Alto Adige wines from Cantina Tramin

Cantina Tramin started in 1898 as the first wine cooperative in South Tyrol, created by the local parish priest. Today Cantina Tramin has 160 family owners/producers and covers 270 hectares of vines. It expanded in 1971 when it merged with Cantina Sociale di Egna, which added some well-known Pinot Noir vineyards.

Cantina Tramin benefits from Alto Adige’s 300 days of sunshine a year and from locations between 400 and 850 meters above sea level, which take advantage of the cool winds from the mountains and the warm winds from Lake Garda. The winery produces a full range of white and red wines. We recently received a sample of four wines, which were tasted on different occasions.

The first wine we tasted was a red wine, a 2020 Lagrein DOC, a 12.5% ​​alcohol wine made from 100% Lagrein grapes. This variety is the oldest native red variety in Alto Adige. The grapes underwent primary and malolactic fermentation in a mixture of stainless steel and cement tanks at controlled temperatures of 28-30°C. The aging was carried out in stainless steel and cement for six months. The wine obtained was of a very deep garnet color with a pleasant nose of fruit. It finished medium length, tannic and smooth. I rated this very nice medium red wine at 90.

Our second red was a 2020 Pinot Noir DOC, a 13% alcohol wine made from 100% Pinot Nero grapes. In Italy, Pinot Noir grapes are called Pinot Nero. The Pinot Nero grapes were harvested by hand and the maceration was carried out in stainless steel tanks at 26°C with daily pumping over and immersion of the cap to increase the extraction of the skins. Aging was carried out in a combination of French barriques, oak barrels and stainless steel tanks for six months. The Pinot Noir was ruby ​​in color with a light fruity nose. It finished medium length and very smooth. I rated this very good medium red wine at 91 and recommend it for pork dishes and pasta.

Moving on to whites, the next wine was a 2019 Nussbaumer DOC, a 14.5% alcohol offering made from 100% Gewűrztraminer grapes. The vinification began with a gentle pressing of the grapes with a slow fermentation at a controlled temperature of 18°C ​​in small stainless steel tanks. Clarification of the must was carried out by natural sedimentation of the particles. Maturation took place in small stainless steel tanks with constant contact with the lees followed by aging for four months in bottle. The total maturation process lasted a minimum of 15 months. The Nussbaumer was straw yellow in color with complex fruit and a very aromatic nose. The finish is medium, fruity and very aromatic. I rated this different but good wine at 90.

The Unterebner wine from Tramin. PICTURED: TERRY DUARTE.

Our last wine turned out to be the star of the tasting. We tried a 2019 Unterebner DOC, a 100% Pinot Grigio varietal, a 14.5% alcohol wine. The grapes came from vineyards at 400-600 meters ASL which I believe provides excellent altitude for Pinot Grigio to ripen. After picking, the grapes were lightly pressed. Fermentation took place slowly at controlled temperatures of 18-20°C in a combination of large oak barrels and barrels. Clarification was accomplished by natural sedimentation of the particles. The aging was done mainly in large wooden barrels with a small part in barrels, always on the lees. The final aging took place in the bottle for four months. The resulting Unterebner was straw yellow in color with a very light fruit nose. It finished very, very smooth and I loved this wine. I rated this beautiful Pinot Grigio one of the best I’ve tasted, a 92. It was well balanced with a nice finish and really excellent. These wines are all available in the United States online and elsewhere.

Thanks to Alessandra Zambonin from Studio Cru in Italy for making us receive these wines from Cantina Tramin.

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