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Kaltern 2008: a Special Vintage
by Andi Sölva, Andi Sölva Winery, published in the spring 2009 issue of the wine.magazine
Elegance and Finesse, Fruity Aromas and Lively Acidity
Regardless of the adverse weather conditions and thanks to the beautiful autumn temperatures, the 2008 vintage turned out to be quite rewarding with very good to excellent quality levels.
Harmonious elegance, fresh finesse, fruity aromas, lively acidity, mineral structure and lower alcohol levels than in previous years – that’s the scoop on the South Tyrolean wines of the 2008 vintage.
The weather conditions throughout the year were less than favorable. The months of April, May, June, July were unusually wet with frequent thunderstorms and together with the hail storm in June, Kaltern’s wine farmers had to work overtime to protect their vineyards from fungus in order to harvest the best quality grapes in the fall. It became obvious that only a consistent quality philosophy in the vineyard would bring success in the cellar. Therefore, more than ever, the 2008 vintage required much hard work and dedication from the wine farmers and precise collaboration with the master vintners in the wine cellar.
Fresh-Fruity White Wines – Lively-Fun Red Wines
The 2008 harvest began almost two weeks later than the previous year. And the harvest lasted exceptionally long - from the middle of September until the end of October. The yield in 2008 was just under the 2007 yield. And due to the picture perfect days in the fall, the majority of the grapes were harvested and delivered to the wine cellar with quite interesting sugar, acidity, and extract values.
The 2008 white wines reveal beautiful, fruity aromas with hearty, fresh acidity and an excellent mineral content. Especially the white Burgundy and Sauvignon, but also the Ruländer are really quite special.
Regardless of the limited quantities of the 2008 vintage, there is much anticipation for the fresh, lively Kalterersee wines and the complex, full red Burgundy. Due to the dry autumn, the harvest of the red wine grapes - Merlot, Cabernet and Lagrein, was optimally postponed as to achieve the perfect maturity. However, these wines require even a little more patience before any definitive evaluation can be made.
2008 is certainly a very special year for connoisseurs. It’s an interesting vintage and is quite different from any in preceding years. The last few vintages often produced opulent, alcohol rich wines. On the other hand, the 2008 vintage offers surprises of elegance and finesse, rich minerals and longevity, and most assuredly, they are wines that will offer much drinking enjoyment.