Allegrini 2018

Excellencies in comparison to restart: Martin Foradori Hofstätter and Marco Caprai’s reflections

From the role of the agricultural companies to the return to essentiality, to wine: the great classics of the two wineries, but not only

Get two of the biggest names in Italian wine, an exclusive location, eight blind tasting wines and a perfect early summer evening. The result could only be the event of restart in the great style of wine made in Italy. Protagonists, Martin Foradori Hofstätter and Marco Caprai, unanimously recognized as the “king of Pinot Noir” and the “king of Sagrantino”. Two personalities as strong as they are different, like yin and yang: rigorous South Tyrolean aplomb the first (yin), intense Umbrian passion the second (yang), but a fundamental common denominator, love for their land and the ambition to excel. Even in this difficult moment, long-sightedness and above all passion are the fuel and the common thread to keep on going. ”The role of a company, even more so if it is a farm like ours - says Caprai - I believe it is also to be a pivot for the virtuous development of its territory, in the economic, social and environmental sense. This was my dream and I believe that we are realizing it and will continue to go in this direction even in such a difficult moment: the commitment is to continue to promote our Umbria but also the whole of Italy, involving other protagonists in growing circles. Sagrantino is the red and pulsating heart of Umbria and our greatest ambassador, wine and a grape variety that is recognizable and able to tell enthusiasts about the quality of the men who produce it in the places from which it comes”.
The Covid-19 also made us reflect on what really matters: “the complex moment in which we find ourselves - says Foradori Hofstätter - has forced us to life, a way of thinking and a way of managing our day that is different from what we have lived until now. I have spent my lockdown working in the vineyard in close contact with nature (and this is the only positive fact that I draw from this crisis), but the perception of what is around me has increased. The essential is taking on more importance and the inessential, like so many superfluous daily emails, text messages or WhatsApps, takes on a secondary role. Daily work focuses on the essential: the times of the superfluous are over. My vineyards are showing me that you must never give up”.
It had never happened before last Thursday that these two vignerons sat at the same table, much less to conduct a tandem tasting of some of their greatest wines. Four flights for eight wines tasted in a blind tasting at the Tenuta Barthenau, the birthplace of Mazzon’s Pinot Noir, a stone's throw from Egna in South Tyrol, one of the estates of the Hofstätter winery. Not a challenge but a comparison, between viticulture and territory, to discover the different expressions that equal grape varieties can have in different terroir.
Each glass is accompanied by a story, of their personal and company history, of philosophy, of dreams, of seasonal trends, vintages, experiences.
The first flight “Il territorio bianco” saw two Sauvignon, vintage 2018: Caprai’s Sauvignon has varied notes on the nose, ranging from tomato leaf to aromatic herbs, passing also through more floral hints and citrus reminiscences, while in the mouth it is full-bodied, with some exotic notes, mineral declinations and a not very long finish; Hofstätter’s Oberkerschbaum opens with hints of grapefruit and bergamot, vegetal nuances of nettle, wild herbs and flint, in the mouth it is very tasty and mineral, very taut, fresh and persistent.
The second flight “The Experiment” saw as many experiments coming out of the two cellars as ever put on the market: for Hofstätter it was a Gewürztraminer aged 10 years in amphora, where the typical aromas of this wine became subtle but clear, especially on the nose, where it expressed a bouquet of withered rose, orange peel, almond; for Caprai it was an Eiswein 1996, a blend of Sauvignon Cheney Viognier and Chardonnay Muscat, intriguing with its kaleidoscope of aromas that gave notes of coffee, honey, mango and candied citrus fruits to the nose and mouth.
Third flight “The Red Territory”, perhaps the most eagerly awaited session because it was the one about Pinot Noir, of which Hofstatter is considered the undisputed King: in the glass we found the 2016 vintage of Barthenau Vigna S. Urbano - with its notes of cherries, pepper, black cherries and raspberries, peppers and cardamom, which invite you to take a sip with elegant acidity and an excellent and balanced aromatic concentration that makes it very drinkable even if perhaps still too young - and Malcompare, one of the wines created ex novo for Caprai by Michel Rolland, smooth and fresh, with hints of violet and raspberry, which in the mouth gives sweet notes of wood and spices and a soft and silky finish where not even the right acidity is missing.
Fourth and last flight, “The native”, saw the spearhead of the Sagrantin0 signed Caprai, the Spinning Beauty 2010, with all its seductive power, and the Lagrein Steinraffler 2016 by Hofstätter, a textbook Lagrein: two incomparable wines, united by the common denominator of excellence. Who won? The audience who had the good fortune to take part in this exceptional tasting.

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