Marco Zani (Castel Noarna) - Cimber 2019 Dolomiti IGT 750ml (12.5% ABV)

Marco Zani (Castel Noarna) - Cimber 2019 Dolomiti IGT 750ml (12.5% ABV)

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The family domaine was established by Marco's father, who bought the castle (yep, there really is one, and Marco makes his wine within its 10th Century cellars) and surrounding vineyards, which are situated on the lower slopes of the mountains that tower either side of the little town of Rovereto.  Although his father was not a vigneron (like most growers in the village, he sold each years' crop to the cooperative), Marco knew from an early age that he wanted to make wine, and since 1989, Marco has been (fanatically) tending the vineyards and making the wine at Castel Noarna, as well as helping his wife to run the best hotel/restaurant in town. 

The castle and the vineyards lie on east/southeast facing slopes at about 350 meters above sea level -- these are high alititude vineyards, similar to those of Belluard in the Haute-Savoie, and Knauss and Beurer in Swabia.  The soils, which Marco has worked organically since 2008 are rich in minerals and poor in organic matter, and exactly what's needed for making of grands vins.  Limestone, our favorite, quartz, slate, silt.

This Lagrein (into which a small amount of Teroldego is usually blended) is a lovely and powerful red. Thanks to Marco's gentle vineyard and cellar practices, it lacks the blockiness that often afflicts this variety, and reveals the softer side of the grape, with lilting, savory flavors and a nice, sappy texture.

region: Rovereto, Dolomites, Italy

varietal: lagrein 

style: red

farming/cellar: organic 

pairing: venison over an open fire, grilled polenta and butter at Rifugio edelweiss