2018 - James Suckling

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2017 - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

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2018 - James Suckling

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2018 - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

"I enjoyed a very special afternoon with winemaker Rudi Kofler visiting the extreme vineyard sites above the town of Terlano, located halfway between Bolzano and Merano along the Adige River valley. The Vorberg vineyards are planted at near vertical inclines ...

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2018 - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

"I enjoyed a very special afternoon with winemaker Rudi Kofler visiting the extreme vineyard sites above the town of Terlano, located halfway between Bolzano and Merano along the Adige River valley. The Vorberg vineyards are planted at near vertical inclines ...

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2009 - Jancis Robinson

'Wine can be made everywhere, but great wine can only be made in select places', started Bruno Besa of Astrum Wine Cellars, as he introduced Cantina Terlano at a five-decade vertical tasting late last year. This Alto Adige co-operative winery, in operation since 1893, not only produces great white wines, but ones of unexpectedly impressive ageing potential. Nestled at the foot of the mountains, the terroir is rich with volcanic minerals such as quartz. Sandy, acidic top-soils result in clean, mineral-rich wines with an ageing potential averaging 20-30 years.

Cantina Terlano's sales director Klaus Gasser led us through the tasting of 15 examples from the past five decades. The first five were a series of Terlaner, a traditional blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon Blanc. These wines were incredibly dry, crisp and amazingly fresh with each decade. Next came a selection of Pinot Bianco, which Gasser maintained 'gives the most expression from the Terlano terroir'. These wines were truly special. Tasting through the decades, their development was very clear; starting off soft, smooth, big and sweet, and with time becoming more complex, dry and wonderfully long.

Finishing up with the Sauvignon Blancs, from various vineyards and methods, I found the younger vintages to be more vivacious and sparkling than the older examples. See tasting notes below.

  • Vorberg '00

    16.5+ points
    Very delicate nose with hints of seasoned oak. Polished and refined, but still powerful. Excellent length.
  • Vorberg '05

    16.5 points
    Beautiful floral aroma with some hints of pineapple and citrus on the nose - finishes with honey. Soft, smooth, very pleasant and lively. Mouth is positively tingling and fresh, but a bit of heat in the throat on swallow. Very full flavour and intense. Definitely not shy. Would love this with spicy grilled fish.
  • Vorberg '97

    16.5 points
    A different style from the more recent Pinot Bianco Vorberg. Slightly more herby and medicinal. Very fresh, full flavour and intensity. Quite long.
  • Terlaner '56

    16.5 points
    Deep yellow, slightly grey and dull. Very intense nose. Quite powerful nuttiness. Acidic. Very smooth, concentrated and full of flavour. Dry with excellent, persistent length. Still full of life and power.
  • Nova Domus '05

    16 points
    Very fresh nose. Quite youthful and vibrant. Some grassy notes, Sauvignon Blanc typicity is really coming through. Very smooth, harmonious with tingling acidity and honey fruit flavours. Excellent length and balance.
  • Pinot Bianco 2002 '79

    18 points
    Beautiful nose with layers of caramel and flowers. Very interesting palate. FULL of flavour and life. I can't believe it's 30 years old! Very bold straight away, does not let down only builds more layers of flavours. Long finish. Excellent.
  • Pinot Bianco '59

    17.5+ points
    Stunning, intense and concentrated. Dry and high in acidity; excellent balance and harmony. Clean, pure, dried exotic fruits. Some hints of fruit muesli.
  • Quarz '07

    17+ points
    Very, very intricate layers on the nose. Beautiful and aromatic. Slightly sweet, tingling acidity. Patience will be rewarded with this wine, but it is simply wonderful already.
  • Quarz '02

    17.5+ points
    Delicate nose with dancing aromas of pine needle, wood and honey. Very interesting, very different than the 2007. Excellent acidity, very fresh and well balanced.
  • Pinot Bianco 2002 '92

    15 points
    At the moment it is a bit closed on the nose. Quite tart, linear and sharp. I'm not really appreciating this wine very much. Very lively tingling acidity, but flavours are a bit shallow and metallic.
  • Quarz '87

    15.5 points
    Interesting, honey notes. Very dry, fresh, linear. Not much of a finish though. Tart, intense, but sharp drop at finish.
  • Quarz '79

    16+ points
    Quite smoky and minerally on the nose. Very dry. Intense, concentrated with layers of flavours! Complex, and very long - continues to tantalise until the end.
  • Terlaner '99

    15+ points
    Brilliant sunny yellow. Warm apples with cottage cheese notes. Quite sharp, acidic, slightly astringent. A bit of heat from alcohol. Some nice fruity notes on the finish.
  • Terlaner '86

    15 points
    Some walnut skins and orange blossom scent. Very dry. Very different from Terlaner Nova Domus style. Slightly metallic edge. Gasser says this was a very 'classic vintage' with good acidity and not extremely concentrated. Very fresh and lively. Light, but slightly too watery for me.
  • Terlaner '71

    15+ points
    Yellow gold, and extremely brilliant. Dry, acidic, with some metallic undertones. A bit nutty, and overall very fresh.