2018 Manni Nossing Muller Thurgau Sass Rigais

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Wine Critic Reviews for 2018 Manni Nossing Muller Thurgau Sass Rigais

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 on 2018 Manni Nossing Muller Thurgau Sass Rigais

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Producer Manni Nossing
Region Alto Adige
Subregion Alto Adige
Appellation Valle Isarco
Country Italy: What are the first things that come to mind when thinking about Italy and Italian culture? There's one thing that nearly everyone tends to mention, it's the food - and where there's fine food, there is almost always fine wine. Italy is the most prolific wine region in the world, outclassing even France in terms of production quantity. Even if you're a complete wine novice, you have almost certainly heard of names such as Barolo and Barbaresco, Italy's most famous wine styles. When it comes to soil composition and other geographical characteristics, Italy offers a lot of diversity, and this never fails to show in the wines themselves.
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.

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