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International Trophy White Single-Varietal over £15 – Tiefenbrunner, Feldmarschall von Fenner zu Fennberg, Alto Adige/Südtirol, Italy 2013

An absolutely stunning Müller-Thurgau, run through with class and charm, its minty, floral nose graced with clementine, yellow plum, spice, lavender and white pepper. It’s lithe, long and extraordinarily pure, with bracing acidity and penetrating flavours of green apples, thyme and a deliciously cleansing, vital finish (13%).
£23.99 Armit Wines

Yes, a Trophy for Müller-Thurgau. This is a grape that has largely fallen from favour in Germany and New Zealand, but grown on the Fennberg plateau at 1,000m, surrounded by the Alps, it has proven its quality.

The wine is named after Franz Philipp Freiherr von Fenner zu Fennberg, founder of the Austrian Kaiserjäger (the emperor’s soldiers), who used the Hofstatt estate on the Fennberg mountain as a summer residence.

Herbert Tiefenbrunner, father of current winery owner Christof, used to spend his summer holidays on the estate and, inspired by a vine growing along the wall of the house, decided to plant a vineyard on the site.

Why Müller-Thurgau? Herbert figured that its tendency to flower late and ripen early would protect it from bad weather at either end of the growing season. The vineyard, a steep 15km drive from the Tiefenbrunner winery, enjoys a thermal advantage from being planted on a plateau, rather than steep slopes – all the more so because the vines are south-facing. Meanwhile, the Alps offer protection from the harsh northerly wind, and there is an additional warming effect from the Ora wind from Lake Garda.

Herbert died at the age of 87 in April this year – before he could see his beloved wine win this International Trophy.

Sabine e Christof TiefenbrunnerChristof Tiefenbrunner and his wife Sabine; Christof’s late father Herbert founded the estate

Tasted against

Argyros, Assyrtiko, Santorini, Aegean Islands, Greece 2014 • Grace, Koshu Private Reserve, Yamanashi, Chubu, Japan 2014 • Gross, Furmint, Stajerska, Podravje, Slovenia 2013 • Pazo Señorans, Selección de Añada, Rías Baixas, Spain 2007 • Rabl, Käferberg Alte Reben, Kamptal, Niederösterreich, Austria 2013 • Soalheiro, Alvarinho, Monção e Melgaço, Vinho Verde, Portugal 2014 • Szent Tamás, Dongó, Tokaj, Hungary 2013 • Tempus Two, Zenith Semillon, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia 2007.

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