Muri-Gries Lagrein Rosato Alto Adige 2015

lagreinrose

Winery: Muri-Gries traces its roots back to the end of the 11th century when the Counts of Bozen built Gries Castle in northern Italy. With the arrival of the Benedictine monks in 1845, the Muri-Gries winery was officially established. The monastery has always been self-sustaining, and initially its wine production was for its own needs. Today the monastery cultivates 35 hectares of vineyards and has contracted with neighboring wine growers for an additional 20 hectares.

Philosophy: Appreciating the “value of the old, indigenous and often neglected grape varieties” and “to preserve the Lagrein’s typical characteristics, its down-to-earth taste, its rustic elegance and identity, fostering and developing these both in the vineyard and in the cellar.”

Winemaking: Integrated and organic methods are used, with only “natural and sustainable pest management strategies”. The original castle cellar that dates back to the 12th century, serves as the current cellar, housing all of the barrels and barriques.

Tasting Notes: Deep pink with coral highlights in colour, with invigorating aromas of cherry, white pepper and grapefruit zest. Fruit forward with cherry and strawberry flavours complimented by a racy acidity. Pink grapefruit notes accent the wonderfully dry finish. A bit heftier than your typical Rosé, the clean, vivid flavours and vibrant acidity make this a fantastic companion to a wide variety of dishes.

100% Lagrein
Alto Adige
Italy
Produced and Bottled by Cantina Muri-Gries SAS
13.5% Alcohol
$14
Enjoy now

Muri-Gries Lagrein Rosato Alto Adige 2014

murigriesrosato

Winery: Muri-Gries traces its roots back to the end of the 11th century when the Counts of Bozen built Gries Castle in northern Italy. With the arrival of the Benedictine monks in 1845, the Muri-Gries winery was officially established. The monastery has always been self-sustaining, and initially its wine production was for its own needs. Today the monastery cultivates 35 hectares of vineyards and has contracted with neighboring wine growers for an additional 20 hectares.

Philosophy: Appreciating the “value of the old, indigenous and often neglected grape varieties” and “to preserve the Lagrein’s typical characteristics, its down-to-earth taste, its rustic elegance and identity, fostering and developing these both in the vineyard and in the cellar.”

Winemaking: Integrated and organic methods are used, with only “natural and sustainable pest management strategies”. The original castle cellar that dates back to the 12th century, serves as the current cellar, housing all of the barrels and barriques. “Fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. 50% of the wine is pressed and vinified as a white wine, the remainder of the juice is macerated, bled off and matured in barrel.”

Tasting Notes: Sunset red in colour with aromas of cherry, strawberry and a bit of dusty earth. Pleasant and straightforward with strawberry, cherry and firm acidity emerging into flinty minerals on the clean finish.

100% Lagrein
Alto Adige
Italy
Produced and Bottled by Cantina Muri-Gries SAS
12.5% Alcohol
$17
Enjoy now

Larcherhof Lagrein Südtirol Alto Adige 2012

hildegardlagrein
Inviting and interesting, with a food friendly blend of tart fruit, earthy spices and grippy tannins.

Estate: The Larcherhof vineyard is located in the St. Magdalena region at the base of the Dolomite Mountains in Alto Adige, northern Italy. The St. Magdalena church along with the majestic Dolomites in the background has become the quintessential photograph for visitors to the area. The vineyard has belonged to the Egger-Spögler family since 1893, although the 5 hectare vineyard has been cultivated for many centuries. Hailed as a “library of native varietals”, the family are custodians to several rare clones of Schiava. Whilst specializing in growing native grapes, Lagrein is the predominant grape in Larcherhof, and a couple of international varieties such as Merlot and Pinot Gris have managed to be included in the vineyard.

Winemaking: The average vine age is 70 years, although many vines are considerably older. “Cultivated close to nature”, the vineyard is farmed using sustainable methods and the grapes are cared for and harvested by hand.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of wild berries and a bit of funky earth. A bright beam of tart red currant and blackberry flavours carried along by smooth leather notes and firm tannins in the medium body, whilst crushed black peppercorn, hints of warm clove and traces of menthol comprise the engaging finish.

100% Lagrein
Südtirol Alto Adige
Italy
Bottled by Hildegard Egger-Spögler
13.5% Alcohol
$16
Enjoy now thru 2016

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Image of St. Magdalena courtesy of National Geographic

 

Weingut Niklas Lagrein Südtiroler 2012

weingutlagrein

“Few things are simple in northeastern Italy, least of all lagrein, a red grape that can produce fresh, aromatic, highly seductive wines.” –Eric Asimov

Estate: The Josef and Dieter Sölva family have owned Weingut Niklas since 1969. It is located at the foot of the Mendel Mountains in the village of St. Nicholas in Trentino, northern Italy.

Winemaking: The family farms approximately 6 hectares of vineyards and are passionate about their winemaking traditions, having comprehensive experience with the soil, climate and natural conditions for growing grapes. They believe that “the unique style and love of the cellarer for his product really brings wine to life”. Grapes were sourced from vines 10-30 years in age.

Tasting Notes: Inky red-violet in colour with compelling aromas of tart fruit, violets and hints of funky earth. Tart cherry, red currant harmonized with earth and smooth leather notes in the medium body, whilst a refreshing acidity accented the dry, concise finish. [Made to be enjoyed with food, this pairs well with just about everything.]

100% Lagrein
Südtiroler/Alto Adige
Italy
Produced and Bottled by Weingut Niklas Josef Sölva
13% Alcohol
$14
Enjoy now thru 2017

Dürer-Weg Lagrein 2011

Tracking down bottles of wine from indigenous Italian grapes can be rather difficult. Estimates put the number of different wine grape varieties between 1500-3000, sadly many of them have been forgotten, only produced by small families for their own consumption, or are rarely exported. I do actively seek them out through various specialty wine shops and importers, however thankfully they are beginning to sneak their way into more of the everyday wine shops. Mildly obsessed with Northern Italian wines, I was excited when I spotted Dürer-Weg Lagrein in one of my local shops. Dürer-Weg is located in the historic An der Lan palace in Salorno, between Alto Adige and Trentino in northern Italy. It has been producing wines since at least 1900 and takes its name from the famous Renaissance painter and engraver Albrecht Dürer when he traveled from Salorna to Cembra in 1494 [Dürer-Weg translates to ‘Dürer’s path’]. For many generations, the same families have been tending to the vineyards located on the exposed Alpine hills and bringing their grapes to Dürer-Weg for production. For this vintage, fermentation was done in stainless steel, there was 6 months of ageing on the lees in concrete tanks, then a partial aging in oak barriques before bottling.

Inky red-violet in colour, after aerating aromas of cinnamon, tobacco, earth and fresh blackberry radiated from the glass. Sweet black cherry and blackberry flavours merged with sour cherry and tart blackberry, whilst earthy minerals and vegetal traces rounded out the dense body. Cinnamon and spicy green peppercorn comprised the compressed finish. With an intriguing play between sweet and savoury elements, this is a fantastic glass with a wide variety of dishes, or sipping on its own.

100% Lagrein
Alto Adige/Südtirol
Italy
Bottled in the production area by IT-BZ/1475 Salorno
12.5% Alcohol
$15
Enjoy now thru 2016