November 22, 2016

J. Hofstatter, Alto Adige, Italy


Hofstatter 2015 Pinot Bianco - Weisburgunder
Retail:  $25.95 / btl  (12 btl/cs)


Hofstatter 2015 Lagrein
Retail:  $28.95 / btl  (12 btl/cs)


About Hofstatter

Joseph Hofstätter established this winery in 1907, in what was then Austria.  Today, the Alto Adige (aka Südtirol) is Italian territory, albeit with a distinctly German accent.  Both languages are used, and towns and villages have dual names.  The village of Termeno (Tramin in German – an indication that this is the historic home of Gewurztraminer…) lies in the warm southern part of the region, where figs, lemons and olives thrive.

Hofstätter farms 50 hectares, and is unique in that they have vineyards on both the east and west side of the the Adige River, with very distinct terroir.

It was in 1942 that Hofstätter’s nephew Kondrad Oberhofer assumed control of the estate, and established the practice of isolating the best vineyards into separate lots.  He was the first in the region to produce single-vineyard designated wines.  Oberhofer’s daughter married Paolo Foradori, bringing additional important vineyards, and advanced vineyard-management techniques to the estate.

Paolo Foradori & Sieglinde Oberhofer’s son, Martin Foradori Hofstätter is now responsible for this historic family estate.  Martin’s cousin, Elisabetta Foradori is also an esteemed winemaker, with an estate in nearby Trentino.  Clearly, this is an important family, with very deep roots in the region.

The modern cellar was completely refurbished in 2013, with conical concrete fermentation vessels replacing the stainless tanks installed in the 1970s.  The stunningly beautiful cellar was designed to handle many small lots of wine from the multitude of vineyards that make up the estate.  Traditional varieties of the Alto Adige are cultivated, with a focus on Gewürztraminer, Pinot Bianco, Lagrein, Schiava and Pinot Nero.  Single-vineyard wines are clearly indicated with the name of the ‘Vigna’, differentiating them from the ‘village’ wines coming from multiple vineyards.

The village wines are pure, classic expressions of the traditional varietals, while the single-vineyard and Reserve bottlings show the great potential of these historic sites.

We met Martin in 2002 or 2003, and followed his wines enthusiastically. In 2015, we reconnected with him through Nik Weis (St. Urbans-hof) when they became partners in Weingut Dr. Fischer, a small esate in Ockfen, Saar.  We're very excited to finally be able to offer Martin's wines to our clients. Simply put, these wines will change perceptions.


2015 Pinot Bianco, Alto Adige

Pinot Bianco, aka Weisburgunder, is perfectly suited to the climate and limestone-rich 'marl' soil of the Alto Adige, resulting in an expressive, aromatic wine.

This is pure, textbook Pinot Bianco, fermented in concrete & inox, never touching oak. Fresh aromas of peach mingle with apple and pear on the nose, elegant and zesty on the palate, harmonious in structure, round with masses of finesse and a hint of nut on the finish

Try it with fresh oysters, melon & parma ham, Branzino with lemon & capers...


2015 Lagrein, Alto Adige

One of the very cool native red grape varieties of the Alto Adige, Lagrein has become a trendy non-traditional variety planted in California and Australia.

Like Hofstatter's Pinot Bianco, the Lagrein is fermented in concrete and inox, and does not spend any time in wood. This allows the vibrant fruit to shine. Deep, bright ruby, almost black in colour, this is a gorgeous, classic Lagrein, which I often compare to Cabernet Franc due to the high-toned, herbaceous aromatics and savoury fruit character. It is immediately impressive due to the excellent balance between intensity and complexity, with aromas of spice, small woodland berry fruits and violets. Its' fragrance is striking, clear, captivating and fresh. Very harmonious on the palate, with assertive but supple tannins, medium-full, succulent with subtle spice on the finish enlivened by palate-lifting acidity

This is a perfect with with charcuterie, sausages, grilled eggplant & other veggies. Martin recommends it with venison and other game dishes.