Sunday, June 11, 2017

Vines on the Verge: Mezzacorona's Cliffhanger Wines #Trentino #Vino

On a Cliff, But Not Left Hanging  

Photo: Courtesy of Mezzacorona
Mezzacorona's Cliffhanger Vineyards are located in Trentino. Along with South Tyrol, these two make up the northern region in Italy known as Trentino-Alto Adige (Sudtirol) in the autonomous province of Trento. Trentino-Alto Adige borders Austria and Switzerland. This area is reknown for its awesome mountain peaks, such as the Dolomites and its rivers, such as the Adige River, along with other notorious geographic features. Needless to say, Trento is great for skiing, hiking, mountain climbing, snowboarding and more.  It's also great for wine production and Mezzacorona is at the forefront.
Arco di Trento Cliff in Trentino, Italy
Since 1904, Mezzacorona has been caring for, protecting and molding their Trentino vineyards and producing wines that are true expressions of their environment. Mezzacorona has a deep respect for the environment and have been promoting the "Protocol of quality in vine production in Trentino" in an effort to "control green methods of cultivation and upkeep of green areas and sustainable agriculture." Their state-of-the-art winery manifests their respect for the environment, as its wavy or undulating roof resembles the pergolas typically used to grow their vines.  In fact, Mezzacorona's winery is known as a "Cittadella del Vino" or Citadel of Wine, because it is a "work of contemporary architecture in amongst vineyards where the most modern technology meets environmental sustainability."
Photo: Courtesy of Mezzacorona
It is not easy to produce wines in high altitudes, and the Alpine climate presents another set of challenges.  Despite that, Mezzacorona produces some great aromatic white wines, delicious red wines and tasty sparkling wines. Mezzacorona's wines "are fragrant and elegant wines, authentic and virtuous just like the men who have produced them, they are as special as the land which bears them." While the company produces several wines, Cliffhanger is one of their lines that showcases their wine-producing passion and skill.

Introducing Cliffhanger Vineyards 
Video: Courtesy of MezzaCorona

The Wining Hour: Tasting Cliffhanger Wines

According to Mezzacorona, "Cliffhanger is our concept for wines crafted on the “Edge of Perfection” the closest one can come to such an ideal."

No dispute here.  We tasted two wines from the Cliffhanger line:

Cliffhanger Pinot Grigio

When it comes to Pinot Grigio, some of the best are produced in northern Italy.  The Trentino DOC area is prime for producing Pinot Grigio, given the composition of the soil, its conditions and the mico-climate in the area. The grapes used in Cliffhanger Pinot Grigio are cultivated along the Adige River which leads to the fresh, fruity notes and acidity.  Other grapes are selected close to Lake Garda, which enrich the taste of the wine. After manual harvesting, the grapes are crushed, destemmed, soft pressed and then allowed to settle. Following is fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Once complete, the wine rests for 3-4 month with periodic batonnage. Lastly, half of the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation, which lessens the acidity and increases the mouth-feel of the wine.

Cliffhanger Pinot Grigio is a lemon-lime color. It smells light and elegant with notes of honeysuckle, Asian pear and peach.  The palate exudes delicious citrus zest and peach, as well as mineral notes like crushed rocks or concrete, which manifests the composition of the Dolomite minerals (calcium and magnesium limestone). Mezzacorona maintains that this Pinot Grigio "shows the two faces of Trentino region: the cool climate of the north with some citrus and white fruit aroma and acidic touch; and the warm and Mediterranean climate of the south, with ripe stone fruits and floral notes, complete with round and soft acidity."

Cliffhanger Proprietary Red Blend

Cliffhanger Proprietary Red Blend is made from 70% Teroldego and 30% Lagrein, which are grapes indigenous to the Trentino region. After the grapes are harvested, de-stemmed and separated from the skins, maceration begins. Fermentation follows and the wine is then aged for 24 months, 12 of which occurs in oak barrels (Allier and Troncais). Finally, it is refined in the bottle.

The Teroldego and Lagrein used in this red blend produce a very intense ruby-garnet color. It emits aromas of ripe blackberries, red currants and baking spice. Given the fact that these grapes are related to Pinot Noir and Syrah, an interesting and complex flavor profile can be expected. The palate is juicy, with spicy black and red fruits (black cherry, red plum, black raspberry ) clove and earthy notes.  This wine is balanced with just the right acidity and would pair with almost anything.

Mezzacorona's Proprietary Red Blend is a rich, delicious, full-bodied, bodacious treat.  It does not hold back at all. Instead, it delivers bold and intense flavors that will please almost any palate.  I would even say that this Cliffhanger seals the deal.

Cliffhanger Vineyard wines are delicious wines that expertly convey the region from which they are produced.

Are you ready to go off a cliff in the World of Mezza? Try Cliffhanger Wines from Mezzacorona.

Check back soon for our review of their Italian Glacial Bubbly, which was also featured on #WiningHourChat!

About The Wining Hour
The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel.  The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #WiningHourChat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST.(For more, see links at the top of this page)

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