Kuenhoff Gruner Veltliner 2012
The Valle Isarco (or Eisacktal) is Italy’s northernmost DOC, a very small appellation about half an hour north-east of Bolzano, on the way to the Brenner Pass and Austria. Here you will find Kuenhof, owned by Peter and Brigitte Pliger, a veritable haven of Germanic varietals expressed in Italian style. Simply put, Peter’s wines are extraordinary. The combination of great terroir, meticulous grape-growing and brilliant winemaking yields flawless varietal characters, melded with an almost electric minerality. They are ripe and full of flavour, yet bone dry and can age gracefully for 10 years or more. With this year’s release, the remarkable 2012 vintage, it could be that Peter has surpassed anything he has produced before. This is somewhere between Riesling and Sylvaner in weight, with none of the pepper and onion notes found in Austrian Veltliner. This has more melon, herbs and fine spice, the palate silky and elegant and beautifully balanced.