2019 Nosiola Trentino DOC
When we were selecting wines from Trentino-Alto Adige we were on the hunt to find something rare and special. Nosiola is the only white grape variety to be typical and native to the Trentino region. Nosiola is found mostly in the hills surrounding Trento, where the terroir gives the most flavorful expression of the grape. On the exposed, ventilated hillsides there's little risk of rot or mildew and the variety's naturally high yields can be curbed due to the stress to create exceptionally bright and fresh wines. When we ask people if they've tried Nosiola most reply, "No! I've never even heard of it!" This is exactly why we want to share this hidden-gem with you. Not only is this wine unique and rare, but it's absolutely delicious! You also might recognize the producer, R Zeni, from one of our previous shipments-- our curated Sparkling Wines box. We also purchased Zeni's TrentoDOC sparkling rosè. We loved Zeni's wines so much that having the opportunity to feature him again in our regional Trentino-Alto Adige Shipment was a no brainer! In addition to Nosiola we also purchased their red Teroldego Rotaliano.
2019 "Palustella" Nosiola Trentino DOC by R. Zeni
Grape: 100% Nosiola
Region: Trentino (Trentino-Alto Adige)
Tasting Notes: The color is an intense straw yellow. Aromas of delicate fruits. A mountain fresh, dry white wine with mineral, ripe fruits, hazelnut and herb flavors.
Recommended Drink Window: Best now until 2028
Temperature of Service: 50-54° F
Decanting: No decanting needed
This wine is made from 100% Nosiola in purity. Nosiola is a golden-skinned grape that is the only white fruit variety to be typical of and native to the Trentino region. It has always been cultivated in Trentino and is experiencing new, growing success thanks to grape growers who are intent on making the most of territorial products. The variety is popular in the Valle dei Laghi, connected to the production of botrytis affected Vino Santo dessert wines and on the hills of Sorni and Pressano in order to obtain a youthful, fresh, fruity wine with a pleasant woodland edge. Flavor profiles can range from citrusy to tropical, depending on vinification, but Nosiola takes its name from its most distinctive flavor: nocciola (Italian for hazelnut). Nosiola is native to Trentino, but recent DNA profiling has revealed a surprising parent-offspring relationship with Swiss Rèze, a very ancient grape variety.
Zeni's Nosiola is initially fermented in carbonic maceration to obtain a fruitier flavor, and then concludes the fermentation process without skin contact in stainless steel.
Trentino DOC is the catch-all DOC for a wide range of varietal wines, from light sweet reds to some fine, high altitude barrel fermented whites. The DOC covers a rather large area of 72 municipalities from the city of Trento, along the Adige river, east of the city, to the higher altitude Cembra and the Sarca valley west of Trento to the northern shore of Lake Garda. There’s evidence that grape growing and winemaking have been practiced in the area for ~3,000 years, and some suggest that both were introduced by Illyrian tribes migrated from Greece to Liguria and then on to Trentino. It's important to not confuse Trentino DOC with Trento DOC, of similar size but devoted to sparkling wines only! (Check out our Trento DOC rosè, also produced by R Zeni, that was featured in our "Sparkling Shipment").
The history of the Azienda Agricola Zeni began way back in 1882 when, after considerable effort, the official South Tyrolean representatives of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I finally granted Roberto Zeni a lisence to open an inn near the bridge over the river Adige. Friends and acquaintances celebrated the occasion, and grandfather Roberto Zeni offered his guests a Teroldego wine obtained from the first grape harvest of their vineyards in the Pini area. Campo Rotaliano, the cradle of Teroldego, had come into being when Empress Elisabeth of Hapsburg-Lorraine had work carried out to harness the waters of the Adige and Noce rivers thereby creating the ideal terrain for cultivating grapevines. The war years were hard times for Roberto's successor, Romano, but he carried on and produced Teroldego, Pinot Grigio Ramato, Pinot Nero Rosato, Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco wines.
The activity of the last generation of the Zeni family began around 1973 with his sons, Andrea and Roberto Zeni. The two brothers, still students at the Enological School of San Michele all'Adige, bottled a small batch of Teroldego Rotaliano, about a thousand bottles, borrowed from their father Romano. Naturally, these bottles served to satisfy the dry throat of professors, janitors and study colleagues and some wine journalists.
In 1975, after completing their studies, the idea of developing their father's wine business came to fruition and therefore the two brothers founded two new companies: the R. Zeni Azienda Agricola and the Zeni Distilleria. Their aim was to promote autochthonous varieties, introduce new equipment, and create quality wines and grappas always starting from the origin. Their ambitious project of “quality over quantity” involved a large commitment in terms of work and organization: agricultural conversion, the modernization of the cellar both as a structure and as equipment.
Roberto Zeni bought Maso Nero in 1988, an old farmhouse located on the wine route of the Avis hills, a natural window on the nearby Campo Rotaliano. As the old stories would have it, the farm was once inhabited by a gang of thieves and they would start great fires inside, which were sometimes so big that black soot covered the ceiling. From this legend comes the name “Maso Nero”, or black farmhouse, as does the Zeni family’s desire to use it as the name for their Trentodoc wine.
Today, the winery is always based on the family’s work and it produces around 190.000 bottles obtained from a vineyard area of about 50 acres. They produce wines from native grapes, as Nosiola and Teroldego, but they are also known for their sparkling wines like Maso Nero Trento DOC Rosè. We import all three of these wines so that you can enjoy them!
Nosiola is easy to drink so it can be enjoyed as an aperitivo wine, but it also has concentration and depth of flavor, so it's lovely to pair with fish dishes like seafood risotto or the like. Other pairings include other white meats like chicken, vegetable dishes, gorgonzola cheese and cured meats.
For our recipe pairing we chose a traditional dish from Trentino-Alto Adige called "Canederli". These bread dumplings with Speck warm the heart, belly and soul and are the perfect match for Nosiola.
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