Nusserhof Elda 2014


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“The 2014 Nusserhof Elda is a field blend, based on 90-year-old, pergola-trained Schiava grown to extremely low yields, with around 15% other varieties. The fruit is co-fermented with natural yeasts for four to six weeks, and then aged for up to twenty months in 20-hectoliter French botti. The first thing that stands out is the color, which is a vibrant yet translucent ruby with an amber hue. It leaps from the glass with a display of contrasts, being both incredibly savory, herbal and earthy, but also showing remarkable purity of fruit with bright citrus-tinged strawberry. Soft and vibrant, the Elda dazzles the senses with tart red berries and minerals, while also coming across as nearly weightless at times. There’s so much to like here, with even a hint of grippy tannin and spice that lingers. This is not your average Schiava. Drinking window: 2020-2030. 91 points

The walled-in Nusserhof winery and vineyards are tucked snuggly into the city of Bolzano, as if time had somehow forgotten them, yet that’s exactly how Heinrich and Elda Mayr would like things to stay. This family started tending vines in the area as far back as 1788, and today they work a mere three hectares around the property, along with a tiny parcel of pergola-trained, old-vine Schiava about a mile away. Practices in the vineyards are all organic, raising Lagrein, Teroldego and the nearly-extinct Blatterle to fill their unique and purely traditionally-made portfolio. The family continues to produce their wines without any temperature control, using long macerations, aging in large oak casks and releasing late by any local producers’ standards. These are wines of soul, dark in nature, but also teeming with energy while communicating their alpine roots and the passion of their makers. The most recent releases, which at this estate are from the 2013 and 2014 vintages, really show Nusserhof’s experience with and mastery of Lagrein and Teroldego. These are wonderfully balanced expressions of each variety with surprisingly low alcohol levels. While the Blatterle (2018 B..te..e) didn’t thrill me, I could certainly see it pairing wonderfully with the regional cuisine.”

Eric Guido, Vinous (11/20)