Date: 4 January 2013
Wine: Tenuta Pacher-Hof 2010 Kerner
Origin: Valle Isarco, Alto Adige, Italy

Revelation: This week I imbibed two Kerner. The first I wrote about in Wine List Picks. The second I took to the BYOB La Luncheonette in Chelsea.

The Pacher-Hof exudes more intensity and concentration, due at least in part to its higher, 14.5% alcohol. When opened, a strong green capsicum note reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc surfaced. Within 15 minutes, the nose evolved significantly. The bell pepper pungency subsided but leafiness lingered. It reminded me of Grüner Veltliner. Floral and smoky notes emerged, nodding to one of Kerner’s parent grapes, Riesling. A pleasant oiliness coated the palate and the finish lingered, making me think of Austrian Wachau whites. I’d never encountered a Kerner with such an elite expression.

Germany is Kerner’s homeland, but in New York, we mostly see those that hail from Italy’s Alto Adige. They are often from Valle Isarco, a Kerner hotbed. I’ll be buying all others I find.

In writing this post, I learned is that Kerner is named not after its creator but after a 19th century writer of drinking songs. Thanks to the Oxford Companion to Wine for this nugget of eccentricity.