Just like most wine drinkers, I’m one who looks for good and affordable wines for daily enjoyment, especially when it’s Tuesday and I’m in the mood for a glass and don’t want to open a pricy Barolo or Brunello. Last night, I was in the mood for something crisp, refreshing and complementary to a light meal. I had a bottle of Nals Margreid Moscato Giallo Secco 2009 and decided to open it.
Although this is a Moscato, there is nothing sweet about this wine. Alto Adige–along with Friuli-Venezia-Giulia (FVG)–produces some of Italy’s finest white wines, made from both native and international grapes. This region formed part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1917, and you will find many Germanic grape varieties here, such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer. The region of Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy’s northernmost region with alpine borders on Austria and Switzerland, benefits from having climate extremes. Part of the area is cold and mountainous, while the other part is Mediterranean-like. Two different geographic areas with primarily different languages spoken, mixed with a blend of cultures, work together to produce incredible unique wine.
The Margreid Moscato Giallo Secco I tasted comes from Nals Margreid, a cooperative of about 100 small growers. The cooperative was formed in 1985 by the merging of The Cellars Nalles (established in 1932) and Magre-Niclara (established in 1954), two well-respected entities, both steeped in tradition. While cooperatives are typical in the Alto Adige (where parcels are often small and at high altitudes in mountainous terrain), this one united some of the best wine growers from the Strada del Vino (wine road) of Alto Adige into something of a “dream team.” Today, 140 growers cultivate a wide range of local varieties in over150 hectares of vineyards for the Nals Margreid Cellar. The wines they produce are representative of the territory, increasingly stylistically defined and technically impeccable—all the result of practicing severe selection in the vineyards.
This bottle was very enjoyable. The wine’s color was pale or light gold, and initially all I got on the nose was stone, flint and clay. With time, I started to get a bit of nutmeg and fresh flowers. The wine is soft on the palate–almost creamy. There is a very slight sweetness that blends really well when the acidity hits. The finish is crisp and tart while the acidity lingers a bit. This is a bone-dry wine that makes a fantastic pre-dinner drink or that would go well with seafood and spicy dishes. I had mine with some Peruvian Ceviche, and it was awesome and a perfect mid-week value wine at under $25.