2021 Sass Rigais Manni Nössing
|Italy, Alto Adige
Manni's Müller Thurgau is simply delightful. An incredible see-saw balance between quite exotic perfume, ripe fruit and some tropicality and then a brisk rush of freshness. Pure, mountain air and spring meltwater comes to mind balancing neatly the early exuberance. Another pure expression of this incredible landscape. L&S (Nov 2022)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles of wine (or 9 litre equivalent) or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified (4.5 litres) to get the discounted 'case price' for each bottle.
Like chiseling away at sheer rock, the 2021 Müller-Thurgau Sass Rigais opens with a smoky and chalky burst of minerality that I find wildly attractive. With swirling, the palate leans more toward fruit, revealing lime zest and crushed green apples. This is silky-smooth, displaying undeniable elegance, just as a salty flourish and citrus-tinged acids effortlessly cut through its textural opulence. The 2021 finishes dry with tropical inner florals and tension that demands patience. The Sass Rigais can be enjoyed today for its potential, but further cellaring is recommended. Drinking range: 2024 - 2030 Rating: 92 Eric Guido, www.vinous.com (May 2023)
Vineyards at c 800 m. All in tank, 8 months on lees. Perfumed and a little grapey on the nose, and also on the palate. Notable freshness for this variety and hint of something stony/mineral on the finish. Crisp and persistent. Not your classic Müller-Thurgau. It may well age longer but I haven't tasted older vintages. (JH) 12.5% Drinking range: 2023 - 2026 Rating: 16.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2023)
As Ian d'Agata writes: 'Manni Nössing is one of Italy’s most talented winemakers. In fact, all his wines are so good that it’s virtually impossible to pick the best of the lot, or even a favourite.'
We could not agree more. Manni is a charming, unassuming man crafting simply outstanding wines in this beautiful corner of north eastern Italy. The Eisackthal Valley (German Name) or Valle Isarcois (as its known in Italian) is a small tract of the Alto Adige that feels deeply Alpine, Germanic even - it is a mesmorising scenery, completely breathtaking to be in. Beautifully mountainous with green high-pastures, craggy clifftops adorned with isolated monasteries and small patches of vines, neatly ordered and hugging the slopes in small patches, dotted throughout the valley. There is a coming together of cultures here - in the school in Bressanone the first language is German and all the signs are written in both languages. Yet the wines here have a lovely, northern Italian purity. A limpid, crystalline quality. Bright, pure and yet with sensational texture and depth.
The DOC is small - running the length of the valley, just 40 km and made up of nearly 400 hectares under vine. Only white varieties are currently permitted, with Sylvaner, Kerner and Riesling featuring widely. Manni Nossing is farming just 6 hectares and is at the forefront of a new generation of winemakers - who's families historically sold their fruit to the big producers like Abbazia di Novacella, but now make their own wines. Since 2000 Manni has bottled his own wines and is fanatical about expressing the freshness of the terroir and is determined to make wines with huge drinkability - he finds it sad that some people are still trying to make fuller, more 'silicon coated' wines here - 'non per me grazie!'
These are fascinating, powerfully driven wines chiselled and focused - simply so moreish. Hand-crafted artisan winemaking with huge appeal we cannot recommend these wines highly enough.
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