Monday, June 22, 2009

Pinot Bianco from the Alto Adige

This month I'm getting to know the wines of Italy's Trentino-Alto Adige region. Tucked up in the northernmost part of Italy, the wines from this part of the country are quite different from the lush southern reds and crisp seaside whites that you might be more familiar with.

My first wine was a Cabernet Franc from the southern part of the Trentino-Alto Adige. My second wine is an aromatic white from the north: the 2007 Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco from the Dolomites. ($9.39 on sale in my local grocery store; available elsewhere for $13-$17) JPK from The Italian Cellar blog recommended "anything by Alois Lageder" in the comments when I announced my regional focus for June, and all I can say is: JPK's got good taste. The wine had terrific aromas of salty, wet stone that practically screamed out for seafood. There were salty and yeasty flavors, that turned citrusy and a nicely bitter lemon pith note in the aftertaste. Excellent QPR, even if you don't find it on sale like I did.

This bright, bracing wine was excellent with this recipe for smoky citrus shrimp with parsley. The shrimp calls for chipotle powder--which I couldn't find for love nor money up here on the Sonoma Coast. So I substituted a mixture of chili powder, smoked pimenton from Spain, and cayenne and it gave a similarly smoky-spicy kick. Because we were having the shrimp with a hunk of bread and some salad, I also enriched the sauce by whisking a tablespoon of butter into it when it was finish. The wine's salty and yeasty notes were great with the shrimp and bread and the citrus in the wine and the citrus in the sauce were perfect partners, too.

Thanks to JPK for the excellent suggestion of Alois Lageder. That's a name that's going on my short list of "go-to" winemakers.


Tallahassee Wine Guy said...

Your TNs of the PB sound similar to other light white wines from Italy, e.g., Pinot Grigio, Verdicchio, etc. How is the mouthfeel or body of the PB compared to say Pinot Grigio? I find that most Italian whites are dry (in contrast to sweet) but differ in body, e.g., Soave has more body than Verdicchio, etc.

Dr. Debs said...

I think the PB is a bit heavier in the mouth--though not much. Your point is well taken. Often it's not the dryness of a wine that makes the determining factor in whether or not I like it, it's the texture and feeling in my mouth.

Wine Lover said...

I have to say that the wines from Alto Adiege are just gorgeous, escpecially by Alois Lageder. Another wine worth looking at is Lagrein Rosato - just beautiful!

Andrea said...

I love Alois Lageder! I'll be on the lookout for that Cabernet Franc - a great price for anything from Lageder, to be sure! He makes one of the few Pinot Grigios that I'll buy.