The Wine of the Week by Annette Tomei
2010 Gumphof, Südtiroler Weissburgunder, Alto Adige DOC, Italy
Looking at the name and label, you may not immediately guess this wine is a product of Italy. Indeed, it is from a tiny alpine region, the Isarco Valley, in the most northerly reaches of the Alto Adige, almost at the Austrian border.
Father and son, Johann and Markus Prackwieser have produced Gumphof since the 1970s. Although not certified organic, their farming and production process are “biological” – all natural, chemical-free, and performed to improve the microbiology of the land and environment. Fermentation relies on indigenous yeasts, and the wines are minimally stabilized via the naturally cold temperatures of their location.
Weissburgunder, The Austrian name for Pinot Blanc (Pinot Bianco), thrives in cool climates. This grape produces full-bodied white wines with rich apple and floral aromas. Those from Italy and Austria show more minerality and higher acidity than their French relatives.
The 2010 Gumphof Weissburgunder has an austere, minerally nose with hints of almond. The flavors of apples and fragrant Meyer lemon give way to a slight grapefruit-like astringency on the finish. The initial sensation is of lanolin silkiness, but the finish is bone dry and clean. Like so many Italian wines, this one shows its genius with food – such as with a perfectly ripe Taleggio. It would also be on point with rich but simply prepared crustaceans, bisques or chowders, and of course a simple risotto.
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