"Cantina Terlano has an unusual offering in the form of its Rarities, special editions of mature white wines that have been left to age on the lees in steel pressure tanks for at least ten years. The 2003 Rarity is a Chardonnay with a youthful freshness that belies its maturity. That makes it perfect for a long period of aging in the bottle. Terlano has the terroir to produce great white wines, as its Rarities so convincingly demonstrate."
- Doc denomination: Alto Adige Terlano
- Variety: The rarities
- History of the variety: first vintage 1979
- Year: 2003
- Bottles produced: 3,340
- Yield: 42 hl/ha
- Quality line: The rarities
Manual harvest and selection of the grapes; gentle whole cluster pressing and clarification of the must by natural sedimentation; slow fermentation at a controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks with partial malolactic fermentation (50%) and aging on the lees in tonneaux for 12 months; further aging on the lees in steel pressure tanks without filtering or fining for at least ten years.
- Country: Alto Adige Terlano DOC
- Provenance: Alto Adige
- Altitude: 250 - 900 m a. s. l.
- Slope: 5 - 70 %
- Orientation: South - Southwest
- Color: intensive light straw yellow with delicate greenish reflections
- Smell: Terlano’s 2003 rarity wine has an impressive freshness and a wealth of aromas, with new components revealed at every tasting, including herbal notes of camomile, lemon balm and lovage together with a hint of dried kaki and apricot. The multifaceted bouquet also displays aromas of bread crust and yeast bun paired with flint.
- Taste: The wine is smooth and creamy on the palate, with a strong acid backbone that leaves a both youthful and delicate impression and strikes a fine balance with the mineral components. The finish is elegant and silky, but also enormously deep and firm.
The ideal meditation wine.
Excellent with poached lobster and sautéed mussels, also in combination with taglierini with butter and white truffles, and with beef carpaccio with fresh Alba truffles or a veal sirloin steak.
A hot and dry summer made 2003 the year with the smallest harvest in the last few decades. After an unusually wet November of the previous year, the soils in the vineyards were well supplied with water for the winter, although the cold season did not live up to its name for weeks on end; the first snow did not fall until the end of January and really cold winter weather did not materialize until February. In March the thermometer rose again, but the nights remained cold. That put a damper on the vegetation, and it did not show the first real signs of new life until the second half of March. With a typical April bringing mild temperatures and a little rain, the vegetation soon corresponded to an average year. May was very warm and sunny, and the 30°C mark was reached for the first time that year. The weather was equally hot and above all dry in the following summer months, which went down in the annals with record temperatures, minimal precipitation and hurricane-strength gusts of winds. It is worth stressing that the hot weather was not limited to the main summer months but was the dominant feature from May to August. Nor did the air cool down very much at night, with the thermometer often sinking by just a few degrees. There was no rain during the harvest weeks, either, and – with must weights well above average, and the grapes in excellent condition – all the criteria were met for a very good vintage.
The vineyards are located at between 250 and 900 meters above sea-level on a bed of striking red porphyry, an igneous rock with large mineral inclusions known as quartz porphyry in geological terminology. This terroir is home to salty wines with a fine tension to intrigue the palate plus outstanding longevity. The south-facing slopes receive maximum sunshine. Under these almost Mediterranean conditions, a wide range of grape varieties flourish, while in Terlano itself various Mediterranean plants like olive, pomegranate, cypress and almond trees are to be found. The warm days and cool nights of the ripening period are the key to a high sugar content, intensive aromatics and the typical Alpine freshness of the wines.
In addition to “Alto Adige DOC” as the geographic designation of origin for Alto Adige, the wines are additionally labeled “Terlano” in recognition of the specific climatic and geological character of the terroir. The term “Terlaner classico” is used for those grape varieties that grow in the traditional wine-growing area between Andriano, Nalles and Terlano.
The high peaks of the main Alpine chain protect South Tyrol from the Atlantic winds and cold northerlies, while the region benefits from the Mediterranean climate from the south. That explains the pronounced differences between day- and night-time temperatures, which are the key to full maturity and elegant wines.
To the south, a number of mountain massifs like the Adamello also have a protective function. As a result, annual precipitation is only about one-third of the average for the southern Alpine foothills, and the number of hours of sunshine is higher. The climatic conditions are not unlike those to be found in wine-growing areas like the Swiss Canton Valais.
When the sun rises behind the mountains east of Terlano on one of the year’s 300 sunny days, it is already high in the sky as the wine-growing area has a westerly to southwesterly exposure. The lower atmospheric density permits more direct solar irradiation with less diffuse sunlight. That increases the difference between the slopes on the sunny and shady sides of the valley.
Microclimate in Terlano
Continental climate (Cfa Köppen-Geiger)
Annual sunshine hours: ø 2135
Maximum temperatures: 38,2 °C
Average temperatures: 12,9 °C
Minimum temperatures: -10,7°C
Annual precipitation: ø 558 mm
Average global radiation: 150,1 W/m²
- North foehn: cool and dry down-slope wind
- Ora: valley wind system from the south, bringing in air from the Po Valley
- Antonio Galloni presents Vinous 2015: 94 points
- Falstaff 2015: 95 points
- Wein-Plus 2015: 92+ points
- Gambero Rosso - Vini d'Italia 2016: two red glasses
- I Vini di Veronelli 2016: 94 points
- Bibenda 2016: five grapes
- Wine Spectator 2015: 91 points
- Vitae - La guida vini AIS 2016: 4 vines
- Alcohol content: 13.0 % vol
- Residual sugar: 2.8 g/l
- Total acidity: 4.7 g/l
- Storage advice: Cool storage at constant temperatures, high level of humidity, good ventilation and as little light as possible
- Cellar temperature: 10 - 15 °C
- Minimum maturity: 8 years
- Serving temperature: 12 - 14 °C
Glass for an evolved white wine