|Pinot Grigio||Alto Adige||2008|
This beautiful light straw-yellow wine shows lemon and mango aromas and is ripe with pear, hazelnut, honeydew melon and a hint of vanilla. It is medium- to full-bodied, with mineral and citrus fruit flavors, and is round and smooth on the palate with light undertones of wood on the finish. This wonderful Pinot Grigio is from the single vineyard "Soll," a southeastern-facing slope above the town of Tramin at 450 to 500 meters above sea level.
Under-ripe pear, cherry, honeysuckle, green olives, apple skins, apricot, peach and almond shell.
Caldaro is a cooperative winery founded in 1906 in the heart of South Tyrol around Lake Kaltern in the province of Alto Adige. The majority of the population speaks an Austro-Bavarian dialect of German, about a quarter is Italian-speaking and a small minority speaks Ladin as their mother language. The region boasts some of the most spectacular vineyards in the world with the Alps as a backdrop. Today, the Caldaro winery has 450 wine grower members who control over 300 hectares of vineyards. They supply the best grapes possible and are active in the decisions of the cooperative. The group makes over 40 different wines, is very influential in the region and is considered one of the most important producers in Italy.
Pinot Grigio is often characterized by citrus aromatics with a bit of flinty minerality, and the Caldaro is a good example. The varietal pairs particularly well with Italian-influenced recipes featuring seafood. I'd suggest a pan-roasted fish with lemon, capers and olives or my Linguine with Clams and Bagna Cauda Butter. I love how the briny flavor from the clams works alongside the wine's lemony and mineral flavors. For a quick starter or savory dessert, pair this wine with mild, semi-soft sheep's milk cheeses (such as Pecorino) accompanied by rustic bread; it's also fantastic with fresh mozzarella.
For the 100th anniversary of the winery the South Tyrolean writer Joseph Zoderer composed a poem whose first line reads, "Every home country is the most beautiful like every mother is the dearest... the vineyards are so immensely feminine and there are the incorrigible ones who claim that God's garden has always been here."
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