2021 Castelfeder Lahn Kerner, IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy (750ml)

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The Giovanett family had been cultivating wine in Südtirol for over 100 years before that part of Austria was annexed by Italy after WWI. Growing up post WWII in the beautiful area of the Alps that is now called Alto Adige by the Italians—and Südtirol by its German-speaking inhabitants—Alfons Giovanett knew he wanted to continue in the family vocation. He earned his Enology degree from the prestigious wine school, San Michele all'Adige, and became the winemaker for Cantina Terlano, the famous co-op that was launched back in 1893.

In 1970, while still working at Terlano, Alfons founded his own winery, Castelfeder, in the village of Egna, about 25 kilometers south of Bolzano, the capital city of Alto Adige. Initially Castelfeder focused on small quantities of red wines primarily from the local grape varieties, Lagrein, Schiava and Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) that he would often sell to other producers in the area. In 1989 Alfons' son, Gunther, took over and relocated the winery further south to Cortina, where he purchased more vineyards and expanded production.

Today, Castelfeder remains a family venture with Gunther's wife, Alessandra, handling the administrative side of the business, their son, Ivan taking on the role of winemaker since 2006, and his sister, Ines, who manages the wine sales and marketing. The estate covers 50 hectares of vines planted to the original red grapes noted above, along with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and the white varietals: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Müller-Thurgau, Kerner and Moscato Giallo.

The Lahn is 100% Kerner (a cross between Trollinger and Riesling, named after the Swabian poet Justinus Kerner), grown at almost 900 m above sea level in one of the highest vineyards in South Tyrol. In the local dialect, “Lahn” means avalanche. Some time ago, the mountains near the vineyard suffered a huge a mudslide that went adrift, impacting the nearby vineyards. Since then, the wines grown there have been given the name Lahn. The grapes for this bottling were handpicked, and underwent cold maceration for 12 hours before being gently pressed. The resulting juice was fermented entirely in stainless steel and aged for 6 months on fine lees.

Bright yellow. Intense aromas of stone fruit, pear and honeysuckle. The palate is intense and multilayered, with tart flavors of peach, nectarine, lemon, pineapple and passion fruit. Beautiful texture, with a graceful acid backbone artfully balanced against a subtle earthiness, and a prominent, chalky minerality on the jasmine-laced finish.

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