I keep telling you mine Vinitaly 2022 with a really very nice tasting that actually lasted longer than what I'm about to tell you, but I decided to cut the article dedicated to Bozen winery dedicating it to Lagrein Alto Adige DOC because I have never written a piece on wines made from this grape variety in purity. Thinking about it is strange because it is a vine that I literally adore, as I adore Bolzano madly! I remember beautiful days hunting for sparkling wines, on my usual bench in front of the beautiful Castel Mareccio, writing while drinking cappuccino flooded with cocoa! Do you know that when I decided to go live by the lake I was undecided between Lake Iseo and Lake Braies? Too bad that the stilt house where boats rented in Braies was not for sale… here I am posting a photo of those times (which made me think, that iPad and keyboard are awkward… thanks Apple for creating the Magic Keyboard! !!)
Curious because even if 6 years have passed since that photo my life - professionally speaking - is always the same: I am always around looking for extraordinary wines and then writing in the midst of nature! But now let's get back to our lagrein… if I have to tell you what I like about this vine, I probably choose its olfactory and taste-olfactory enveloping. The nose is very characteristic, it is difficult not to recognize it even after a passage in wood. In the mouth it has a very present acidity, but always dosed by an overall softness and a drink that does not tire. Winery of Bolzano o Bozen winery it is a winery that has focused a lot on Lagrein wine, so much so that it is expensive Daniele Galler he managed to let me taste 6 different ones and I must say that I liked them all! Furthermore, I was able to learn that Gries is the most suitable area for this grape variety and in fact when I compared the two selections I really felt the difference with the same vinification. My favorite? Definitely the Taber ... I could drink bottle after bottle !!!
Kellerei Bozen: Lagrein Classic Line 2021 Alto Adige DOC, 13,5% vol
The grapes come from various suppliers in the surroundings of Bolzano and Gries to whom the winery carries out continuous agronomic consultancy. The vinification takes place only in steel and the refinement takes place in the bottle.
My tasting. It is purplish red concentrated and slightly transparent, consistent. The nose is fine and characteristic with vinous notes and a succession of violets, mulberry, a barely hinted roasted cocoa bean. In the mouth it is consistent, fresh, with a rather pronounced acid vein, but still quite round. Pleasant and long sip.
Kellerei Bozen: Perl Lagrain Linea Selection 2020 South Tyrol DOC 13,5% vol
The vinification takes place only in steel while the refinement is carried out first in oak barrels of 50 hectoliters, then in the bottle.
My tasting. It is purplish red concentrated and slightly transparent, consistent. The nose is always fine and characteristic, the wood enhances the toasted notes already characteristic of the grape and the cocoa beans and coffee powder become more intense. In the mouth it is very tannic, very fresh, structured and warm with a long cocoa finish.
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Kellerei Bozen: Baron Carl Eyrl Lagrain aus Gries Selection Line 2020 South Tyrol DOC, 13,5% vol
The vinification takes place only in steel while the refinement is carried out first in oak barrels of 50 hectoliters, then in the bottle. The difference with Perl is only the origin of the grapes which in this case come from Gries, the most suitable area.
My tasting. It is purplish red concentrated and almost impenetrable, consistent. The nose is more toasted than Perl and, even if it maintains the vinous and fruity notes characteristic of the grape, these take a back seat compared to the toasting and spiciness, which are also characteristic of the grape. Lastly, a sour cherry appears both fresh and in jam. In the mouth it is very elegant, very soft, very fresh and with a completely different, more amalgamated tannin. Long finish.
Lagrein has a series of characteristic notes ranging from vinous to spicy and, depending on the soil (since the vinification is identical), more the first or more the second come out. The soils of Gries give more space to the spicy and toasted character of the grape. What I liked - which I also found in the other wines for tasting - is a very skilful use of the barrel that enhances the primary aromas without covering them.
Kellerei Bozen: Lagrain Prestige Riserva 2019 Alto Adige DOC, 13,5% vol
The best grapes from vineyards around Gries are vinified in wooden barrels and aged both in French oak barrels and in large barrels for a year. The refinement continues for a few months in steel and then in the bottle.
My tasting. It has an intense ruby red with violet reflections and is almost impenetrable, consistent. The nose is more similar to Perl with vinous and fruity notes that are enriched with dark chocolate and coffee extracted in the siphon and fade into vanilla. In the mouth it is very soft, but also very tannic, a tannin that is not astringent, but rather pinchy, and structured. Long finish between black cherry and coffee.
Kellerei Bozen: Lagrein Taber Riserva 2018 Alto Adige DOC 14% vol
The best grapes from an over 80-year-old vineyard near Gries are vinified in wooden barrels and aged both in French oak barrels and in large barrels for a year. The refinement continues for a few months in steel and then in the bottle.
My tasting. It is ruby red with violet reflections, almost impenetrable and consistent. On the nose, aromas of sweet spices - vanilla and cinnamon - dancing with fruity notes of fresh morello cherry, violet and a hint of truffle, chocolate. In the mouth it is soft, tannic but with a well-blended and elegant tannin, very structured and coherent, fine. Long finish.
Kellerei Bozen: Prestige Line - Lagrein Dunkel Grieser Riserva 2001 Alto Adige DOC, 13%
My tasting. It is ruby red with garnet hues at the edges, impenetrable, concentrated and consistent. On the nose all the tertiary truffles come out, coffee, leather, black pepper, incense. In the mouth it is soft, consistent, still quite fresh and full of coffee notes and also a hint of licorice root which is also found on the finish.
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I could have told you that “Stegher” Chardonnay Riserva 2019 it's fantastic, but I preferred to focus on a single grape variety because it is rare to be able to do a tasting of this type with all wines from the same cellar. Thanks Daniele also for opening the old vintage, it was my first Lagrein with a lot of time on my shoulders.
I still have a lot to learn about this grape variety, but this tasting confirmed something I have always known: Lagrein Alto Adige DOC is a crazy red wine and, even if it is certainly not an "easy" wine suitable for a certain flattening of the taste of the average consumer imposed by the markets, it is a wine potentially capable of getting noticed by an educated public which could lead it to a new splendor. Who likes Lagrein wine? I find analogies with Dolcetto d'Alba, also concentrated, vinous and with a great freshness, but more rounded and less tannic, for example than the neighboring Nebbiolo.
Because we like international vines, but also our native vines, if worked well, are a lot of stuff.
PS What do you think of Lagrein? Do you know this grape variety? What are your favorites? Leave me a comment on the blog to talk about it together!