Vino’s holiday sale continues this week as we feature the wines of sub-Alpine producer Castel Sallegg. Nestled between the majestic peaks of the Dolomite Alps, the area surrounding Lake Caldaro in the German-speaking region of Alto Adige is an optimum wine producing zone. Amidst this tranquil Alpine valley lie the vineyards of Castel Sallegg, a winery fortunate enough to possess some of the most desirable sites on the western slopes of the lake, and in the village of Caldaro.
Three varieties typically cultivated in the region, Schiava and Lagrein, and Moscato Giallo, benefit from Lake Caldaro’s unique climate, providing Castel Sallegg with what are arguably its most distinctive wines. Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero are grown on historic sites in the village center.
The Castel Sallegg, in addition to its winemaking reputation, boasts a history steeped in nobility. In 1851 the castle itself and its surrounding vineyard was bought by Archduke Rainer of Austria, Viceroy of Lombardy-Veneto. It was later inherited by the Counts von Kuenburg through Prince Henry of Campofranco. A keen sense of custodial responsibility and continuity are deeply rooted in the Von Kuenburg family, and today Georg von Kuenburg (above), together with enologist Matthias Hauser, ensures that quality and tradition continue to be maintained.
Pinot Bianco 2008
was $20, now $16
The sandy, pebbly lime subsoil in the slopes that surround Lake Caldaro are ideal for creating a fresh, mineral-driven, Pinot Bianco. The wine’s crisp, balanced acidity makes it a great food-friendly wine that pairs well with the often sharp flavors of the local cuisine.
Moscato Giallo 2008
was $21, now $16.80
Moscato Giallo is an aromatic grape considered indigenous to Trentino-Alto Adige. Its aromatic nose, pronounced deep golden color make it an excellent pairing for richer foods and is often paired with some of the region’s cow’s milk cheeses.
Lagrein Rosé 2008
was $20, now $16
The tannic Lagrein grapes give this wine complexity and structure while the enologist at Castel Sallegg ensures that the wine expresses the pillars of rosato: refreshing, easy-to-drink and adaptable. The wine is made from the same Lagrein grapes as those sourced for Count Kuenberg’s Lagrein Riserva.
Schiava Bischofsleiten 2008
was $20, now $16
A grape variety that has grown for generations on the steep slopes of sub-Alpine Alto Adige, Schiava produces a lightly-colored red wine that is a local favorite. Schiava finds its greatest expression on the western side of Lake Caldaro where, trained in the traditional pergola system, grapes can achieve maximum ripeness and attain the most unique reflection of their terroir. Bischofsleiten, or Bishop’s Slope, is a vineyard named for its founder, the Bishop of Trento, and is considered by many area producers to be the zone’s best site.
Pinot Nero 2005
was $24, now $19.20
Castel Sallegg’s vineyards lie on the slopes that rise up from the lake. In this alpine valley, temperature variation (warm days, cool evenings, essential for the thin-skinned Pinot Nero grape during ripening) and the absence of rot and mildew (thanks to the lake breeze) help to create wines that are fresh and well balanced. Castel Sallegg uses temperature-controlled fermentation in stainless steel and ages the wine in small and large casks to make a Pinot Nero with beautiful fruit flavors, bright acidity, and a clean finish.
Lagrein Riserva 2004
was $34, now 27.20
Believed by many to be a relative of Syrah, Lagrein is an indigenous red grape of Trentino-Alto Adige where high altitudes and excellent temperature variation around Lake Caldaro combine to create a rich red wine with peppery notes, excellent for the wintry dishes of this Alpine region. The grape growers at Castel Sallegg prefer clay and sandy subsoil for the cultivation of Lagrein: the drainage “stresses” the vines and forces their roots to grow deeper in search of life-giving water. The resulting wines are intensely colored and flavored and represent a unique local viticultural tradition.
Below are this week’s featured producers and tasting*. Remember, 20% sales are for one day only!
Mon 12/21: CASTEL SALLEGG
Tue 12/22: EZIO VOYAT
Wed 12/23: CONTI SERTOLI SALIS, ORSOLANI & RONCO DEI TASSI*
Please call 212-725-6516 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.