Vinitaly is tough not just on your palate but on your decision making skills. So many wines and so little time. I often am pointed in one direction or another by friends of wine colleagues. That is how I ended up tasting the wines of Niedermayr from Alto Adige.
Together with some wine friends, we tasted through numerous Pinot Nero (Noir) wines being made in Italy. Alto Adige is the area par excellence for Pinot Nero although I have found one from Tuscany that is dreamy from Podere Fortuna as well. Franz Haas is the most famous producer of Pinot Nero in Alto Adige but others are giving him a run for his money. One of this is Niedermayr in my opinion.
I tried two of the Pinot Neros from 2006 and I think the Linea Classica one was my favorite. It was beautiful both on the nose and the palate showing typical expressions of Pinot Nero – small red and black fruits (sotto bosco), earthy notes and a hint of mushroom. It was also intense and persistent. A real find.
The cru version of this wine called Precios was a bigger wine which spent a period in oak. It too was delicious but I preferred the former.
I also tried a fantastic passito called Aureus from their Reserve Line.
Many wineries in Alto Adige buy some of their grapes from growers and then have some of their own vineyards. This is true of Niedermayr as well.
The winery has been operational for 158 years and is still run by the same family. Most of their vineyards are located on volcanic soil, which is often mixed with clay and sand in some of the areas as Alto Adige is at the foot of what used to be a glacial fan.
The main cities in Alto Adige are Bolzano, Trento and Merano. Niedermayr is located near Bolzano. Many wineries are influenced by the breezes from Lake Caldaro.
A beautiful area which makes exquisite wines, the Alto Adige building is always an obligatory stop for me at Vinitaly.