Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Eisacktaler Kerner

Kerner is a grape I don't see very often on wine lists.  German in origin, the Kerner grape is a cross of Riesling and Trollinger, which is a red variety.  It was created in 1929 and named for Justinus Kerner, a medical writer who also happened to write poetry concerning wine.  It wasn't bred commercially until 1969 and by the mid-'90s it was the third most-planted grape in Germany, although its popularity has slipped since then.
This wine is from the Sudtirol region of northern Italy (South Tyrol), part of Trentino-Alto Adige.  The cool, Alpine climate there is where Kerner thrives in the gravelly, sandy soil.  The winery, Eisacktaler Kellerei, is in the Valle Isarco area.  According to their website, this is where, "glaciers meet the gentle hillside landscapes of the Mediterranean."  It sure sounds beautiful enough.  I found this Alpine gem at Little Dom's in Los Feliz, $11 by the glass.
Yellow-gold in the glass, the wine's flinty minerals come through on the nose even though it's served ice cold.  Fruity flavors - mainly crisp golden apple - sail in on a zippy acidity.  I am reminded immediately of Sauvignon Blanc, but with a fuller mouthfeel.  It's a perfect match with my wood oven-roasted eggs, almost perfect with the side of wild boar bacon.  This is a fairly versatile wine.

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