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2018 Manni Nossing Muller Thurgau Sass Rigais

2018 Manni Nossing Muller Thurgau Sass Rigais

94 VM


Sokolin Notes:
From a Shining Star in Alto Adige Comes This Game-Changing White Wine!

Featured Review
Vibrant straw-green. Liquid minerals, jasmine, green apple and thyme on the enticing nose. Then rich and multilayered but also bright and fresh on the zingy mouthfeel. This outstanding, nuanced Müller-Thurgau finishes long, clean and mineral. Not likely to be the longest-lived Sass Rigais made by this estate, but will provide wonderful drinking over the next five years or so. Vinous Media

Vinous (Galloni) | 94 VM

Critic Reviews

Vibrant straw-green. Liquid minerals, jasmine, green apple and thyme on the enticing nose. Then rich and multilayered but also bright and fresh on the zingy mouthfeel. This outstanding, nuanced Müller-Thurgau finishes long, clean and mineral. Not likely to be the longest-lived Sass Rigais made by this estate, but will provide wonderful drinking over the next five years or so.

Vinous Media | 94 VM

Wine Details for 2018 Manni Nossing Muller Thurgau Sass Rigais

Type of Wine Italy White
Varietal Muller Thurgau : The world of wine is often considered a luxury industry, synonymous with success and lavish lifestyles. But, it can also be a cruel and unforgiving trade, not for the faint of heart. Cultivators of the Muller-Thurgau grape variety might fall into the latter category. With more than 10,000 wine grape varieties being cultivated around the world, it is understandable that a white grape such as Muller-Thurgau to go unnoticed, especially hailing from a winegrowing region known for its production of the world renowned and beloved Riesling wine grape.

Perhaps overlooked and disregarded are greater descriptions. Wine writers and critics rarely have good things to say about Muller-Thurgau, often blaming it for the decline of German wine quality. Over the past four decades, the variety has fallen out of favor and popularity; however it remains the 2nd most planted wine grape in Germany. In fact, Muller-Thurgau was Germany’s most planted grape and most exported wine from the 1940s up until the 1980s.

Despite the grape’s drop in popularity, blame-placing and inferior quality labeling, it should be praised and celebrated for helping to rebuild Germany’s wine industry after WWII. With the economy and infrastructure in tatters, post-war Germany needed an easy and productive vine to reinvigorate viticultural production. Muller-Thurgau was that variety. Though it led to four decades of cheap and sweet German wines, the impetus provided by Muller-Thurgau gave Germany the opportunity to rebuild its vinous reputation from the ground up.

Often referred to as Rivaner, due to early assumptions that it was the progeny of Riesling and the white Slivaner grape. This was, however, disproved by DNA testing, actually being a cross between Riesling and Madeleine Royale (which is considered a white table grape). Muller-Thurgau was created by Dr. Herman Muller (of Thurgau, Switzerland) in 1882, and this creation ended up helping to revive the crippled German wine industry.

The greenish-yellow berries grow in medium to large clusters of medium density and are described as having a slight Muscat flavor. The variety can be grown in a wide array of different soils and conditions, though it desires deep soil for its roots to really take up the terroir of the area and display this in the wine. Muller-Thurgau yields about 30% more than Riesling and ripens earlier, requiring less sun and making few demands of the climate (all positive attributes which enabled the grape and the resulting wine to thrive in a time of desperation). It does need more rain than Riesling as well as soil with good drainage.

The winegrowing regions of Germany offers a hospitable dwelling for Muller-Thurgau, providing a terroir comprised of loess, limestone, loam, sand and a mix of alluvial deposits. The grape seems to thrive in its adopted homeland with over 12,000 hectares covering its landscape. Quality-minded wineries producing varietal examples of Muller-Thurgau offer wines with the same complexity as fine Riesling, with primary flavors of peach, rose petal, lemon, lime and flint (greatly contributed by the sedimentary material).

Muller-Thurgau can also be found in Hungary (8,000 hectares) Austria (1,300 hectares) and Alto Adige, Italy, where the wines produced from the variety, are described as being lively with floral hints of lilac and geranium and tones of nutmeg, mineral-rich traits, citrus fruit and black currants on the palate. Dry versions are increasingly marketed under the synonym Rivaner. There are nearly 22,500 hectares of Muller-Thurgau cultivated world-wide. It continues to thrive, fly under the radar, but also continues to produce wines of unique quality. The variety deserves a closer look and a more reputable illustration of its qualities and attributes. A grape that saved a nation’s wine industry, discarded, but once again gracing the shelves of wine shops and dinner tables around the world.
Country Italy : Italy is renowned as one of the world’s greatest gastronomic havens; from certified Prosciutto di Parma to the sea-side seafood eateries on the island of Sicily. However, this epicurean experience could not possibly be as hedonistic without the ethereal combination of the country’s plethora of fine wines. It seems unfair that a nation should be able to boast, both, some of the world’s greatest cuisine as well as its greatest wines. Italian wine is one of the most sought after in the world, and has become the second most produced in the world, behind only France.

Stretching an impressive 736 miles from northern Italy to the peninsula’s southern tip, the country’s geography generates an enormous array of topography, climate and soil structure. This is an extremely important quality of its winegrowing and making industry which lays claim to nearly 550 different grape varietals, which all desire their own necessities, in terms of terroir and climate.

The still red wines of Italy truly characterize the nation’s vast and expansive terroir; Nebbiolo dominates Piedmont, where Barolo and Barbaresco reign king and queen of the region’s production. Hailing from Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany, the rockstar Sangiovese grape has become synonymous with greatness. Vin Santo sweet wines have taken on a mighty feat of competing with the glorious wines of Sauternes, and of course, Prosecco. Prosecco, located in Trieste (northeast Italy) and its creation of luxuriously effervescent styles of wine has become Italy’s answer to Champagne. The Glera grape variety, which has become synonymous with the name Prosecco, is the main ingredient and is beloved in the appellation where the village of Prosecco’s name has become world renowned.

The blurred boundary between Italy and the countries of Slovenia and Austria, where German influence still resonates through Friuli wines. The prevalence of Riesling and other such grape varietals is high in this region and have become extremely popular on today’s market.

With nearly 702,000 hectares of grapevines covering the massive and diverse landscape, Italy’s annual average of 48.3 million hectoliters of wine production is second only to France in terms of volume and Spain in terms of hectares of vines. The country is vast and overwhelming when it comes to the culinary arts, but perhaps even this is overshadowed by its production of some of the world’s most sought after wines, whether the omnipresent Chianti to the highly collectible and sought after Amarone della Valpolicalla.

Region Alto Adige
Subregion Alto Adige
Appellation Valle Isarco


Producer Manni Nossing : Amid the towering peaks of the Dolomites in Alto Adige (or Sudtirol to the German-speaking two-thirds of its inhabitants) resides a land of acculturation. The small DOC (Designation of Controlled Origin) does not seem Italian; in fact it is more likely to witness German culinary, street signs and… well… wine. The breathtaking landscape is blanketed with German grape varietals, which local vintners cultivate with pride, embracing their ancestry as well as the proximity of Austria (20 miles north). One such producer, Manni Nossing, has found an incredibly perfect niche for himself in the remarkable terroir that has become a truly hospitable environment for the varietals planted here.

Much like his wines reflect the terroir, Manni Nossing reflects the rebellious assimilation of cultivation in the region. Descended from a family of farmers, Manni has no formal training in viticulture or enology but seeks to learn from each vintage in order to produce wines that are capable of giving pleasure while also reflecting the terroir from which they originate. In 2000, he made the decision to start bottling his own wine instead of selling in bulk to a nearby cooperative. Since then, he has increased his holdings to 6 hectares, all hillside vineyards at altitudes of 650 to 800 meters, planted to Kerner, Gruner Veltliner, Muller Thurgau, Riesling, Sylvaner, and Gewurztraminer. Kerner, a cross between Riesling and Schiava (a local red grape), represents half of his production and perfectly exemplifies the house style of precision, freshness, class, and minerality.

While the climate in Alto Adige is certainly a colder one with snowy winters, Manni finds that due to his vines’ southern exposure and the region’s hot summers, the sun is enemy number one. “I want my wines to be drinkable,” he explains. With the belief that good acidity is the key to refreshing, balanced wines, he has recently stopped green harvesting and de-leafing his vines. “My grapes are happy in the shade,” he elaborated. “They are unhappy sitting in the sun all day”.

Manni’s desire to respect the land and emphasize terroir also applies to his choices in the cellar. All wines are vinified in stainless steel tanks to preserve the grapes’ delicate aromas, though 50% of the Veltliner sees a passage in neutral acacia barrels. After eight months on the lees during which the wines pick up additional richness and texture, they are ready to be bottled. The result is a range of wines that are a joy to drink while also exhibiting exceptional finesse and complexity, perfectly showcasing Manni’s passion for his land and the region’s pristine Alpine beauty.

The Nossing vineyards are located in Valle di Isarco (Eisacktal or Eisacktaler in German and most likely the name gracing the label). The valley is a small tract of the Alto Adige with mesmerizing scenery; beautifully mountainous with green high-pastures, craggy clifftops and small patches of vines, neatly ordered and hugging the slopes in small patches, dotted throughout the valley. The terroir, comprised of sandy and mineral soils, and the area’s many microclimates provide a good basis for creating individual, fine, fresh wines.

Manni Nossing single-varietal bottlings express the possibilities of this unique union of varietal and terroir. He currently produces Sylvaner, Riesling, Veltliner, Muller Thurgau and an excellent Kerner. Idealistic and determined in nature, Manni has found ways to develop wines with strong character, without traditional constraints. His meticulous efforts in the vineyard (where he feels most at home, close to nature) and fearless winemaking techniques in the cellar have proven successful. In the past few decades, Manni Nossing has become one of the greatest white wine producers in Alto Adige, an icon in Valle di Isarco and producer of an internationally recognized and desired brand.

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