Christian Plattner’s tiny Waldgries estate is located in the Saint Magdalener hills just outside the town of Bolzano in Alto Adige. While your first thought of Alto Adige may be mountains and snow, Bolzano is one of Italy’s warmest cities, due of its location at the focal point of three alpine valleys. Here they excel with red grapes that are more challenging to ripen further up in the mountains where Kerner and Pinot Grigio reign. Both Christian’s Schiava, made in the San Magdalener appellation, and his Lagrein are stunners. The cantina is located in a historical building with a clocktower that was constructed in 1242 as a convent, but was purchased by Christian’s grandfather in the 1940s. Grapes have always been cultivated here, but it was Christian’s father who started bottling wines in the 1970s. Today, in the surrounding valleys and ski resorts, you can’t go too far without seeing Waldgries on wine lists; in simple mountain chalets or in three star Michelin restaurants, Christian’s wines are well-known as the best of the best.
The 2020 is organically farmed 92% Schiava with 8% Lagrein from 2.6 hectares at 350 meters above sea level in the St Magdalener cru, this beauty is fermented in stainless steel then refined for 5 months in large oak cask (15-45 hectoliters, all used/neutral – 15 hl = 396 gallons). 583 cases produced.
During the hot summer months, this Schiava is delightful with a light chill. Beautiful aromas of red cherries, flowers, spice, and smoke. Light to medium body. Bright and juicy red cherries are again the focal point on the palate. Round and supple, easy and enjoyable to drink now as the tannins are light and soft. Perfect with pork, veal, poultry, or salmon. Love this wine with the traditional local dumplings.
“A blend of four different sub-varieties of the Schiava grape (Grigia, Media, Corta and Gentile) plus an 8% touch of Lagrein, the Ansitz Waldgries 2020 Alto Adige St. Magdalener Classico opens to a bright and lifted bouquet with wild berry fruit and cherry. That simple and fresh primary intensity is followed by grilled herb and lavender essence. The wine’s lean-bodied approach reveals nice freshness and some spicy notes of white pepper or powdered licorice. This is a terrifically accessible red wine to pair with mixed grilled meats and spicy sausage with bell peppers and onions. Some 7,000 bottles were made.” – 91 points, Wine Advocate (ML) Sept 16, 2021