Lagrein--Northern Italy's Surprisingly Bold Red Wine

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  • By Kevin Lepisto
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Lagrein--Northern Italy's Surprisingly Bold Red Wine

The cool wine growing area of Sudtirol-Alto Adige, bumping up against the foothills of the Alps and the mighty Dolomites, is best known for brilliant white wines and austere, minerally, food-friendly reds. Native to this region is Lagrein, a grape variety that makes fuller bodied red wines.

Wine Profile of the Month

Lagrein (pronounced lah-grine) is an ancient grape variety native to the small wine region of Südtirol-Alto Adige which is located at the very north tip of Italy on the border of Austria and at the base of the Dolomites. 

 

Lagrein is related to Syrah and Pinot Noir and produces wines that are surprisingly dark and plummy but also surprisingly lighter on the palate than its inky color implies. 

Lagrein, like most Italian wines, is high in acidity and minerality keeping the wine vibrant and fresh and excellent with food.   Lagrein’s typical flavor profile is of blackberries and black cherries with hints of wild herbs and wet river stones.  Lagrein’s somewhat chewy tannins make it a great match for grilled meats and game, meat stews or ripe cheeses.

 

Here are a two delicious Lagrein wines available at The Wine Country:

 

2013 Cantina Valle Isarco Lagrein, Südtirol-Alto Adige, Italy

 

Cantina Valle Isarco is one of the newer cooperative wineries in Südtirol-Alto Adige but has become one of the most acclaimed since their inception in 1961.  Their medium bodied Lagrein is juicy with ripe blackberry and plum fruits and the somewhat soft tannins make it more approachable than most Lagrein wines.  It’s vibrant and fresh with great acidity and minerality.

$19.99 per bottle

 

2016 Franz Gojer Lagrein ‘Granat’, Südtirol-Alto Adige, Italy

 

The Gojer winery is a small family run winery that have become known for producing some of the best Lagrein and Vernatsch wines in Südtirol.  Gojer’s Lagrein is a perfect example of why Lagrein is the noble grape of the region. Dense and meaty with black fruits, this structured Lagrein is great now but could also be cellared for future enjoyment.  This is a perfect example of a great Südtirol Lagrein; brambly with notes of spice, graphite and crushed stones.

$25.99 per bottle

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