Highlights: two from Abbazia di Novacella, Alto Adige

Abbazia is a monastery dating back to the 12th century in the Alto Adige region of northern Italy. They farm vineyards at the Abbey (this is the source of their white grapes), and also buy red grapes such as Schiava, Pinot Noir and Lagrein from growers located further south. They are based in the Isarco River Valley. This is a sizeable operation, sourcing from around 80 hectares. Soils are mainly granitic schist and many of the vineyards are on steep slopes.

Abbazia di Novacella Lagrein 2016 Alto Adige, Italy
13% alcohol. This has density to it, with bright blackberry and black cherry fruit, with hints of chocolate and spice. Has some grip, but also lushness, combining seductive black fruits with some freshness. Grainy and detailed with some grippy tannins on the finish. 91/100

Abbazia di Novacella Schiava 2016 Alto Adige, Italy
Schiava is a name that refers to a few related grape varieties, and is also known as Trollinger. 12.5% alcohol. Little bit of reduction on the nose, with spice, herbs and red cherries. The palate is sappy and elegant with pure red cherries and a spicy framing. Hints of pepper and dried herbs. Really expressive and interesting, this is a lovely wine. 92/100

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