This week’s winery of the week is Franz Haas from Trentino-Alto-Adige. Haas is incredibly well-known in the wine world, especially his version of Pinot noir. While I too love his Pinot Noirs, today’s post follows a tasting I did at Vinitaly of his white wines.
The current Franz, whom I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to this year at a lovely dinner, is the seventh generation Franz Haas to run the family winery. His son is also named Franz, as I am sure you can imagine. The Haas family has been in the wine business since 1880. They currently have 55 hectares in different locations and at a variety of altitudes from 240 meters above sea level to 1,150 meters above sea level.
His white wine line-up was very impressive from a Pinot Grigio to a Moscato Giallo. The Pinot Grigio from 2103 was spicier and more herbaceous than most that I have tasted. It had considered structure and weight as well. Some 70% is fermented in stainless steel and 30% in barriques.
The next wine was a Pinot Bianco, also from 2013. It was from vineyards located at 400-800 meters. This wine was beautiful with both fruit and flowers on the nose and palate. It also had a waxy quality that reminded me of Chenin Blanc. I think this one will age beautifully.
The next wine was my favorite, Manna 2012, named after his wife Maria Luisa. This wine was marvelous and in a word, sexy. A blend of 50% Riesling, 20% Chardonnay, 20% Gewurztraminer, and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. The Chardonnay and the Sauvignon ferment in barriques while the Riesling and Gewurztraminer ferment in stainless steel. The parcels are then blended and spend 10 months on their lees. The wine was full-bodied, with notes of lycee, spice, flowers and fruit. It had a lovely bouquet with a round, sensuous mouthfeel.
I also tried the Moscato Giallo, again from 2013. It too was rich and fruity with hints of nuts and honey as well as Salvia. The finish was long and round. It would be perfect with Sushi. This wine spends five months aging on its lees before being bottled.
The last wine I had was the Gewurztraminer from 2013. It spends six months in stainless steel with continuous batonage. It had the very specific lycee, spice and floral notes that are typical of this grape variety. It had great acidity and minerality and was full-bodied. I found it harmonious and balanced and I imagined eating Indian food with this wine.
Haas has had his labels done by artist Riccardo Schweizer.
Meeting Franz was really a delight and his wines are truly some of my favorite from Italy, no small feat. Don’t pass up the opportunity to try his whites or his reds, whenever you get the chance.