The Franz Haas winery in Montagna, a small village about twenty kilometers south of Bolzano, with its 55 hectares of vineyards and its annual production of 400,000 bottles, is one of the most famous private wineries in South Tyrol. It is a reality born in 1880 by the work of the patriarch Franziskus (Franz) Haas I, and handed down for seven generations from the father to the eldest son, who is always baptized with the same name of the patriarch: Franziskus. There were therefore six Franz Haas at the head of the winery, before the current owner Franz Haas VII, but it was the latter who gave the decisive impulse for the success of the winery in Italy and in the world, assisted by his wife Maria Luisa Manna and, currently, even by his sons Franz VIII and Sofia.
The productive philosophy of Franz VII has evolved over time, but has never abandoned the conviction that the only possible approach to obtaining quality wines is organic. The vineyards are fertilized with organic substances, it is favored grassing between the rows, as it is the presence of multiple species of insects that ensure pollination and reproduction of the grown spontaneously flora. Besides, Franz VII was, and continues to be, one of the pioneers of high-altitude viticulture, convinced that climate change no longer allows the usual altitudes to give wines the finesse and elegance he sought in his wines. For this reason he began to plant, since 2000, more and more in the high ground, with vineyards that today reach even over 1100 meters.
The symbol grape of this winery is Pinot Noir, vinified in different variations (sparkling wine Pas Dosé, Rosato, Pinot Noir and Pinot Nero Schweizer); a grape that Franz VII has been studying with passion and in depth for over 30 years and that has led him to produce almost 600 different versions. It was therefore almost inevitable that the new flagship wine of the company was a Pinot Noir cultivated in high ground, the Pònkler; a wine born from a promise made by Franz VII to the famous journalist and wine critic Francesco Arrigoni. This last, visiting the winery in 2010, a few months before his unexpected death, and being enchanted by the beauty of the Pònkler vineyard, begged the producer to make the most of it, producing with those grapes a special bottle.
The wine comes from grapes harvested from clones of French vines planted at about 800 meters above sea level in a south/south west facing vineyard, surrounded by forests and unspoilt nature, with a soil mainly composed of red eroded porphyry. The grapes, after a first careful selection in plant during the harvest, are left to ferment and macerate in open steel tanks, with frequent fullings. The wine is then aged for 15 months in barrique and for at least two years in bottle before marketing.
The 2015 vintage has a pretty intense ruby color, with an olfactory range that opens with notes of marasca cherry, sour cherry, red orange and pot pourri, followed by pomegranate, vanilla, graphite and sweet pipe tobacco, with concluding echoes of incense, hematic and empyrreumatic. The palate starts with a good softness and a glycerin note that makes it almost sweet, while gradually it emerges the balsamic freshness combined with a hint of spiciness; all this while return in aftertaste the red fruit and the sweet spices that accompany the sip to a long and juicy closing.
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