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White surprise: Alto Adige Pinot Bianco

Richard Baudains attended the Alto Adige Pinot Bianco Symposium with low expectations and memories of watery, characterless whites. Totally wowed by the wines, he explains here what lies behind the transformation.

Baudains’ top Pinot Biancos from the hills of Alto Adige

Girlan, Plattenriegl Pinot Bianco 2013
18.5pts/20 (95/100pts)
Sweet, ripe fruit nose with notes of butter biscuits. Rich, fleshy entry on the palate, with concentrated nectarine and candied peel fruit. Firm underlying structure, bags of energy and a long, punchy finish with salted lime character. Young.
Price: £11.81 Enoteca Hukin
Drink 2015-2020
Alc 14%

Gumphof, Südtiroler Weissburgunder 2013
18.5pts/20 (95/100pts)
Fragrant, complex, sweet floral nose with a hint of violets and at the back a faint chalkiness. Lovely mid-weight, balanced, fluid palate with crisp green apple character and a long complex finish with a touch of orange peel to balance the tangy mineral flavours.
Price: N/A UK gumphof.it
Drink 2015-2018
Alc 13.5%

Lageder, Haberle Pinot Bianco 2012
18.5pts/20 (95/100pts)
Elegant, refined nose with delicate complexity. Floral, herby and zesty, with touches of fennel and beeswax. Floats gracefully on the palate towards a lovely, fresh, grapey finish with bright fruit and savoury mineral contrast. Perfect to drink now.
Price: £12.50 Exel Wines, Winedirect
Drink 2015-2016
Alc 13.5 %

Nals Margreid, Sirmian Pinot Bianco, 2013
18.5pts/20 (95/100pts)
Intense, juicy fruit on the nose with a hint of flintiness at the back. Palate is concentrated, tight, linear and long, with passion fruit and mango woven into the tangy mineral flavours plus a touch of bitters in the finish. Great structure and huge length. Very young, great promise.
Price: £10 Lay & Wheeler
Drink 2015-2020
Alc 14%

Terlan, Vorberg Pinot Bianco Riserva 2011
18.5pts/20 (95/100pts)
Intense and focused on the nose, with hawthorn and citrus, a touch of sweet spice and an intriguing smokiness. Mid-weight body, firm structure, great crisp, mouthwatering intensity and huge length. Huge personality. Still very young.
Price: £22.50 AG Wines, Astrum Wine Cellars, Field & Fawcett
Drink 2015-2020
Alc 13.5%

Kaltern, Solos Pinot Bianco 2013
18pts/20 (93/100pts)
Fresh and delicate on the nose with floral, herby complexity, plus touches of peppermint, barley sugar, bread crust and lemon pith. Crisp Granny Smith apple on the palate, with a hint of white peach. Long, fluid, very natural palate. Still quite closed on the finish, but will open out with time.
Price: N/A UK kellereikaltern.com
Drink 2015-2018
Alc 13.5%

Thomas Niedermayr, TN 76 Südtirol Weissburgunder 2013
18pts/20 (93/100pts)
Concentrated, but still quite closed on the nose, with an intriguing mix of sweet ripe fruit and bitter herbs. Round, fleshy start on the palate with a ripe grapey character and lots of concentration. Fresh lemon zest on the finish with a touch of flintiness. Will open up. From biodynamic growers.
Price: N/A UK Thomas-Niedermayr.com
Drink 2015-2018
Alc 14.5%

Franz Gojer, Karneid Südtirol Weissburgunder 2013
17.5pts/20 (91/100pts)
Complex, with a nose of savoury herbs and sweet spices, plus a touch of dried apricot. Great structure and volume on the palate. Big, direct, punchy and concentrated; bone-dry finish with notes of marzipan and peach kernels.
Price: N/A UK gojer.it
Drink 2015-2018
Alc 13.5%

Kellerei St Pauls, Passion Pinot Bianco Riserva 2012
17.5pts/20 (91/100pts)
Sweet tropical fruit nose, with pineapple, peach and a slight whiff of smokiness. Ripe fruit palate with refreshing, zesty acidity, delicate structure but great intensity and a long, crisp finish with notes of lime and orange peel.
Price: N/A UK kellereistpauls.it
Drink 2015-2018
Alc 13.5%

St Michael-Eppan, WeissburWhite gunder, Schulthauser, Südtirol 2013
17pts/20 (90/100pts)
Fresh, bittersweet floral nose, with classic dandelion and orange blossom. Substance on the palate with cheerful yellow apple and citrus flavours, good balance, medium length and dry finish. Impeccable, from a historic producer.
Price: £13.99 Eurowines
Drink 2015-2018
Alc 13.5%

Note: In the bilingual Alto Adige/Südtirol, labels may show Italian and/or German wine names.

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