This wine sent me down a bit of a rat hole as they say in my business. You see the label states this wine is from “Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT”. As I am headed to (very) southern Switzerland later this summer of course my curiosity was piqued. So where to start? How about from the top… This IGT is part of Trentino – Alto Adige which is one of the twenty wine regions of Italy. Trentino – Alto Adige, which covers a large part of the Dolomites, is on the alpine border with Austria directly to the north and Switzerland to the west. As you might guess by the name it is actually comprised of two areas. Trentino to the south and Alto Adige to the north.
To understand this further we have to go back to the middle ages and Charlemagne who planted the seeds that resulted in these two distinct areas that still exist today. Trentino, thrives on polenta, and is steeped in the Italo-Venetian traditions well known for an alpine takes of pasta including game, mushrooms and cheeses distinctive to the area. On the other side Alto Adige has more ties to German and Austrian culture and its gastronomic pride is Speck. German and Italian were both made official languages of the region shortly after WWII in 1946 and most residents of the region are still bi-lingual today.
Okay, back to the vino. Trentino-Alto Adige produces less than 1% of the Italy’s wine (but about 10% of its grappa). There are three grapes native to the region; Nosiola, Teroldego Rotoliano and the Marzemino, and loads of international varietals (here’s a full list) like this Cabernet Sauvignon. Of interest most of the wines made in the South are made by larger wineries for international export. In the north most wines are still made by small family wineries where the product is mostly consumed locally with limited exports to Germany and Austria. That said as of late many of these have been developing a niche following here in the United States. This is the area I am most keen to visit should I find the time later this summer…
As for this wine specifically I never did find anything definitive on Vignetti delle Dolomiti IGT. How’d it end up in my house? Good question. I know something inspired me to buy this and figured it was one of those rascally K&L wines emails that regularly drain my wallet. If it was I can’t seem to find; guess that is why I should record these things when I purchase the wines ;-) How’d it go?
Price: $6.99 @ K&L Wines imported by Prestige Wine Imports
What They Said:
Per K&L Wines “Leave it to the Italians to make a dirt cheap and super tasty Cabernet that is meant for food. This one offers an intense bouquet, complex with vanilla notes characteristics from oak aging, a dry flavor, lightly tannic, full-body. Pretty much everything you want from a ‘house red’ and all for $7! This is definitely the best cabernet deal in the store- the perfect every-day cab with rich fruit and cedar edges!”
What I Think:
(13%) dark purple, ruby at the edges this one starts juicy (and medium bodied) with tart cherry and spiced currant notes. It is balanced by a pleasant acidity before giving way to toasty, vanilla (all barrel) flavors that show light tannins on a warm, short finish. This wine fades quickly so I would certainly recommend drinking it within the first day if not two. Luckily this one makes that easy. Soft and food friendly with a low abv (13%) this is all you can expect for $7. That said while good it isn’t great. I won’t be buying again but feel free to give it a try if you can find it for $8 or so. For more information on this one or the winery in general head on over to the Mezzacorona website.
Further reading and articles referenced while writing this article: