Franz Haas, 10 points if you can guess which part of Italy this wine producer comes from? Those with any knowledge of Italian history or geography will be able to figure out that Franz Haas wines are from the German speaking south Tyrol/Alto Adige region of Italy bordering Austria. The Franz Haas estate is located almost exactly half way between Trento and Bolzano just off the E45. The Alto Adige has a growing reputation for excellence in both red and white wines with rising popularity in the the native Lagrein, as well as excellent production of international varietals like Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and even some zippy Pinot Neros.
Franz Haas produces eleven high quality red, white and blended wines at a fair price point which is why we’ve decided to add this producer at the Cellar Door. Perhaps not the most famous or prestigious producer, that accolade would go to the likes off Hoffstatter, Lageder or Manincor, Franz Haas represents QPR and joins Michael Eppan for our Trentino/Alto Adige range.
Of these eleven wines I believe the best value comes from the Pinot Nero (2 bottlings) the Traminer Aromatico (Gewürztraminer) and the superb blend, perhaps the best value white blend of the region, the Manna.
Manna, named after Franz Haas wife, Luisa (Manna, obviously) is a blend of Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon and late harvest Gewürztraminer. The wine shows telling minerality and is an award winning effort year on year with GR and a consistent 88-90 point wine. In the red corner, it is the Pinot Nero, both the standard bottling and the excellent Schweizer (produced only in the best vintages) that deserve your full quaffing attention.
The wines of Franz Haas
Müller–Thurgau – €10 (white)
The lowest priced wine of the Franz Haas collection and the lowest calorie too! Those who follow my tweets will have already seen that if you’re on a diet Müller–Thurgau is the wine for you. An excellent accompaniment to seafood. QPR Value – 3/5
Pinot Grigio – €12 (white)
High yields, high production and very popular. However, so many better whites here, if you’re a PG fan there’s probably little I can do to put you off. QPR Value 2/5
Pinot Bianco – €14 (white)
A similar production scale to the MT. Many of the Alto Adige wineries are putting out Pinot Bianco, the Haas version has good acidity and I’d pair it up with a salad or risotto. QPR Value 2/5
Traminer Arimatico – €18 (white)
This is a seriously good example of what can be done with Gewürztraminer. The yields here are smaller than the other whites, this is a bottling of which the producer is rightfully proud I highly recommend you try this full bodied and aromatically interesting wine. QPR Value 4/5
Manna – €22 (white)
Here she is! The white you really want to try from Franz Haas, the blended little blighter, created out of love especially for fans of the Alto Adige. This is a 4 grape blended white that will set you drooling. It’s a great food pairing wine for vegetarian dishes too. Complex, good structure and with ageing capabilities. One of Italy’s best value white wines. QPR Value 5/5
Moscato Rossa – €22 – (rose)
Indigenous Moscato Rossa is expensive for Italian rose but this is because of the very low yields (real low, 15 hectolitres p/h low). This Moscato Rossa is one of the regions best Rose wines in top vintages. If you find food pairings for oriental food tricky, this one works beautifully. QPR Value 3/5
Lagrein – €17 (red)