January Wine Letter: Entirely Magnum!

Great South Tyrolean wines in large-scale formats
Good wines, Hugh Johnson, the legendary wine connoisseur once said in an interview, do not need to provide answers - they should pose the questions. "Even simple wines develop excellently in large bottles," writes columnist Manfred Klimek, who considers himself to have a populist understanding of wine with an individual touch. And he continues: "Last Christmas we had a double magnum of Antinori's quite unpretentious Tenute-Chiantis, a fine everyday wine from a large estate. However, the 1995 double magnum was a real hammer. Fruity, weighty, balanced and ripe. An inconceivable pleasure to drink. For just under 170 Euros. Everyone at the table was thrilled." The VINUM-Hotels South Tyrol January wine letter is dedicated to these great South Tyrolean wines in large-scale formats!
In the past, at special occasions people used to prefer pouring the wine from a more or less plain bottle into a beautifully decorated, sometimes ornamentally carved, transparent bottle. Today, people at gatherings, from christenings to the dignified farewell of a dear friend who has just passed after 109 years of life, look increasingly forward to enjoying large-scale format bottles. Their names also have something ... to do with the Bible because they are called for example "Jeroboam" (5 litres) named after the King of Israel (787 to 747 B.C.) or after the biblical forefather Methuselah (6 litres) or after the King of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar (605 to 562 B.C.), which is a proud 15 litres! "Even the opening of the bottle can be celebrated, the skilful serving of the wine sets the scene." writes wine columnist Peter Keller with a wink.
"A little bit of show is in order at a wedding. And since one large bottle is enough for several people, everyone can enjoy the same wine. Moreover, the vessel itself looks decorative and can be kept as a unique memento long after the wine has been enjoyed - by the bridal couple, of course".

A South Tyrolean wine in a magnum bottle? "These biblically large bottles have the great advantage of slower oxidation, allowing the wines to develop over a much longer period" enthuses Martin Lemayr with shiny (winey) eyes, the successful and longstanding cellarman of Schreckbichl Winery. The grapes for the Chardonnay "Lafóa" Magnum come from a meticulous selection on the Schreckbichl terraced vineyards, the vineyards are situated on barren stony-porphyry soils - ideal conditions for a brawny, very mineral white wine. As is common with all premium wines, the yields of this "Lafóa" are very low and it presents itself at tastings accordingly - robust and full-bodied. Master cellarman Martin Lemayr ferments the grape must in used and new French barriques. Of course, it would be a sin to open this long... extremely long-living Chardonnay "Lafóa 2015" in the double-magnum version now! How long? - Well in about 30 years, master cellarman Martin Lemayr will celebrate his golden wedding anniversary ... and the double magnum "Lafóa 2015" would surely have to be quite drinkable by then.

As longstanding Vernatsch enthusiasts, we continue our stroll among the magnums into Girlan: the Girlan Winery cooperative has been one of the Vernatsch grape's flagship wineries for over 50 years. In the fantastic wine year 1961, the chairman and master cellarman at the time, Hartmuth Spitaler invented "Fass Nr. 9" ("barrel no.9"), a selection of the best Girlan Vernatsch vintages. It was an extraordinary pioneering act for the time in South Tyrol’s "sea of Vernatsch"! And staunchly resolute, almost (wine) obsessed master cellarmen such as Gerhard Kofler, who has been largely responsible for the great upswing of the Girlan Winery since 2005, fills bottles up to 5 litres from the best Vernatsch vintages. The storage potential of the Girlan Vernatsch often exceeds that of the best Lagreins. Violets, wafts of almond, cherries - the red ones: yes, quite tantalising. Not mighty but rather inspiring with its balanced interplay between tannins and fruit components. The "Gschleier" magnum from the Girlan location of the same name has a little more substance. Every Girlan Vernatsch is hard, rough around the edges and at times downright dismissive in its youth - troublemakers claim that the Girlaner themselves are like their wine, have quite a "Grint", in other words, are hard-headed or stubborn when they are young - until they gradually become softer and more laid back with age. Just like the paraded Vernatsch "Gschleier ". "Gschleier" and "Fass 9" will easily keep for up to 20 years, sometimes even longer.

To your health! We wish all VINUM-Hotels South Tyrol guests a happy new year!
The VINUM-Hotel - February Wine Letter:
“Where should I pour the red, the white, the rosé?” – The perfect glass for the perfect wine

In the past, the wine tended to be served too warm and today it is served rather too cool. Both inhibit the ideal development of the wine. In the past, wine was poured into extremely thick-walled, often coloured glasses, which were sometimes ground or engraved so that one could not see very much of the wonderful tones of a wine. "Where should I pour the red, the white, the rosé?" - How should the perfect glass be procured and becoming of the perfect wine? The question is complex, and the answers are provided by experienced sommeliers and wine connoisseurs in VINUM Hotels South Tyrol. The bouquet of a wine unfolds best in glasses whose bowl narrows slightly at the opening or remains at least the same width. Colourless glasses best reveal the colour and clarity of a wine. The thinner the wine glass, the more immediate and intense the taste experience - but of course there are certain limits to the latter in the home and in restaurants. The VINUM-Hotels South Tyrol February Wine Letter is dedicated to the perfect wines in the perfect glass!