From: Alto Adige, Italy
Taste: The 2021 Manni Nössing Riesling, Südtirol Eisacktaler DOC unveils a nose of youthful lime citrus interlaced with floral touches and mineral drive. A rush of wet stone, citrus, and faint kerosene on the palate reveals an intense flavor profile. The wine is beautifully balanced, with a superbly crisp taste offset by the roundness contributed by the alcohol. A playful confectionery green citrus tone blends with sweet smoke and sage, adding complexity. The finish resonates with a surprising mix of tropical flair and savory saltiness, leaving a lingering essence of liquid stone.
Pairing: The crisp, mineral-infused nature of the 2021 Manni Nössing Riesling makes it an ideal pairing with a wide array of foods. Its aromatic freshness and vibrant acidity complement seafood beautifully, particularly grilled shrimp or scallops (check out Melissa Clark’s recipe below for Vietnamese-Style Crispy Shrimp Cakes). For a land-based alternative, try it with roast chicken with lemon and thyme to echo the citrus notes in the wine. The subtle hint of kerosene and savory finish allow this Riesling to pair well with mildly spicy Asian dishes. The wine's intensity and complexity also stand up to more decadent fare, such as pork sausages and even veal schnitzel, reflecting the Germanic influences of its Südtirol home.
Vietnamese-Style Crispy Shrimp Cakes
By Melissa Clark
About. When you enter the region of Alto Adige—or Südtirol, to use its other name—you might forget you're in Italy. German street names, sausages, and sauerkraut appearing on menus, and an assertive "Hallo?" answering your phone calls are far from the standard Italian motifs.
This unique cultural blend sets the stage in Bressanone (a.k.a. Brixen), less than twenty miles south of the Austrian border. Here, Manni Nössing runs a small winery enveloped by the towering peaks of the Dolomites. Nestled within the steep slopes and mountain climate of the Valle Isarco, Nössing's vineyards create an environment favorable to fresh and aromatic whites.
Manni, a self-taught winemaker from a farming family, seeks to discover and learn from each vintage. His pursuit of producing wines that give pleasure and reflect the terroir has marked his approach since he began bottling his wine in 2000. Now, with 5 hectares of hillside vineyards, he carefully tends to varieties such as Kerner, Grüner Veltliner, Müller Thurgau, Riesling, Sylvaner, and Gewürztraminer.
Wines like his Kerner (a cross between Riesling and Schiava (local red grape)) beautifully demonstrate the house style, showcasing precision, freshness, class, and minerality. While snowy winters paint a cold climate picture, the summer's heat is Nössing's primary concern. A champion of acidity, Manni believes in shading his grapes to retain refreshing and balanced qualities.
His cellar practices also express Nössing's commitment to honoring the land. Utilizing stainless steel tanks and neutral acacia barrels, he ensures the preservation of the delicate aromas of the grapes. Eight months on the lees enrich the wines with texture, leading to bottlings that are a pure joy to consume. Manni's range effortlessly displays the region's pristine Alpine charm and his profound passion for winemaking.
The 2021 Riesling: A Jewel of Südtirol
Sitting at 660-700 meters and fermented in controlled temperatures, Nössing's Riesling has become a paragon of precision. It's a wine that grabs your senses with its crisp, lean structure and intoxicating minerality.
Renowned wine critics have praised this wine, from Maeve Decouvelaere's acclaim for its finesse to Julia Harding MW's anticipation of its improvement with a year in the bottle.
The 2021 vintage introduces itself with youthful, ripe lime citrus, further intensified by mineral notes and a hint of kerosene. It dances on the palate, leaving a lasting impression of liquid stone, green citrus tones, sweet smoke, and sage. The balance between super-crisp flavors and roundness from the alcohol creates a beautiful complexity that promises a long aging potential.
A wine of remarkable intensity also reveals a soft and supple side, displaying ripe pit fruits and sour melon, motivated by a saline-tinged acidity. The finish is both tropical and savory, a unique combination that adds to the allure of this remarkable Riesling.
With a drinking range from 2023 to 2029 and esteemed ratings from critics such as Eric Guido and Julia Harding MW, the 2021 Manni Nössing Riesling stands out as a wine of great distinction from Italy's northernmost province.
Manni Nössing's winemaking reflects a mastery that perfectly blends the Alpine freshness with the warmth of Italian hospitality in a region that defies the typical Italian norms. This unlikely harmony is captured eloquently in the glass, where the liquid landscape of Südtirol invites you to explore a world unlike any other in Italy. From his meticulous hand-harvesting to thoughtful cellar practices, Nössing's wines are a genuine reflection of a region that stands apart, destined to delight those fortunate enough to discover them.
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