Image:Lagrein: unknown, but excellent
Every year I prepare a wine-tasting. As I'm a member of 2 wine-clubs, I only need to make sure I get 2 bottles of each wine, and I can do the same presentation twice. It's though sometimes to find an original topic.

This year 'Lagrein' was on my agenda. I've tasted this varietal 2,5 years ago for the first time (thanks to Ivo), and I became sort of a fan-boy.
It's a rather unknown grape, growing only in the north of Italy, in a region called Alto Adige (or Süd-Tirol). It was used to produce primarily rosé wines, but since the early nineties Alto Adige got (more) famous because of the very deeply colored, smooth but strong spicy reds, based on Lagrein.

I managed (and it wasn't easy) to collect an interesting selection of 10 bottles from 6 different producers:
Name Year Type
Alc. %
in €
Producer Club1
Lagrein Rosé 2007 Rosé 13%
Nals Margreid 12 12
Lagrein 2006 Red 13,5%
Nals Margreid 13 11
Lagrein 2005 Red 13%
Untermoserhof 12.5 13
Lagrein 2005 Red 13%
Eisacktaler 14 12.5
Lagrein 2005 Red 13%
Terlan 13,5 13.5
Lagrein 'Gries' Riserva 2005 Red 13%
Terlan 14.5 14.5
Lagrein 'Prophyr' Riserva 2005 Red 13,5%
Terlan 15.5 16
Lagrein Reserva 2005 Red 13,5%
Untermoserhof 14.5 15
Lagrein Reserve 2004 Red 13%
Peter Zemmer 15 15,5
St. Pauls Exclusiv Lagrein Gries 2003 Red 14%
St. Pauls 15.5 na

*Max. Score=20

As you can see, the 'Reserves' scored (predictably) better (in both wine-clubs). Of course, the price is significantly higher too.
After having tasted these Lagrein bottles twice, the common denominators are: dark color, smell of prunes, tobacco, chocolate (sometimes fruity, sometimes spicy), serious acidity, smooth tannines, peppery finishing.

So if you see a Lagrein in a wineshop somewhere (and I know they are hard to find), don't hesitate, especially if they are 'Reserva' !

Updated: see a full report (in Dutch) at Te Judice.

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