Northeastern Italy is home to some of the most underappreciated, food-friendly white wines in Europe. Familiar grape varieties like Pinot Grigio often manage to express themselves with far more finesse and complexity than they do elsewhere, and less-known grapes, like the difficult-to-pronounce Muller-Thurgau, often result in the kind of unexpectedly alluring bottlings that make you question why you’ve never tasted them before.
One of my favorite producers is Alois Lageder, whose wines tend to not only be delicious both on their own and alongside a huge range of food, but also refreshingly easy on the wallet. I recently wrote a piece on the Alois Lageder Muller Thurgau Dolomiti 2010 for The Good Life Report, and can’t recommend it strongly enough for both casual and more elaborate meals. Here are my tasting notes on two others from Lageder--both 2010s, both utterly charming.
Tenutae Lageder Pinot Grigio Porer 2010
Right off the bat, this is a Pinot Grigio to confound people who are convinced that the grape variety cannot do anything terribly interesting. Aromas of hard apricots, peaches, and nuts mingle with lemon notes and white-blossomed flowers in the background, as well as a pronounced stoniness and minerality. On the palate, bright acid keeps the nut flavors lively, and lends a sense of lift to the tarragon and apricot-flesh, all of which lead to a finish gently touched by spice. Excellent concentration and a nice sense of muscle behind it. Great food wine. Biodynamic.
Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco Dolomiti 2010
A nose of white peach, yellow plum, and ripe apricot turn to a palate that’s bracingly brightened with acid, slate and mineral essences, as well as flashes of white peach and lemon. Linear and lovely, with hints of white flowers and spice, this is a food wine as well as a great warm-weather sipper.