I love variety. That is one of the things I like so much about wine. In a lifetime, it is humanly impossible to sample all the variety that exists in the wine world. Two wineries making wine from the same varietal in the same region can produce vastly different results. Beyond winemaking variety, there are the thousands of different varietal grapes out there; many of which the average wine drinker may never hear about. In my wine journey, I strive to seek out, find, and taste those lesser known varietals.
Recently I purchased and opened my very first Lagrein, the Kupelwieser Lagrein 2013. Until about six months ago, I had never heard of the Lagrein grape, but it has certainly left a lasting impression on me! The funny thing about this wine: it made its way to my “Must Try” list, but I can’t remember how. Somewhere along the line, I must have read a review on Vivino or some other social media site, and thought it sounded good. I’d like to thank whoever it was who posted whatever review it was, because this is a darn good wine!
Lagrein is an Italian varietal, grown in the northeastern Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige. According to wine-searcher.com, Lagrein is likely native to this area. Historical records mention the grape as early as the 16th century. The grape is known for rich, full-bodied wines of deep, dark color. As with many Old World varietals, Lagrein is best when paired with food.
I found my first experience with Lagrein to be most pleasant. The Kupelwieser Lagrein 2013 carries the Alto Adige DOC designation. True to Old World form, there is bright, lively acidity that makes it great with food. Yet I found it to also have well-structured fruit, providing balance and complexity, and giving it a profile that will please many a New World wine drinker. Here’s my review on Vivino:
“My first Lagrein. Deep, deep purple color. The aroma is of butter and red fruit. On the palate, ripe raspberry, blackberry, black pepper, cherry, and light oak, followed by a spicy, smoky, medium finish. Medium body, with sharp tannins and bright, lively acidity, making this a great food wine. Exceptional with our Steak Pizzaiola.”
- Rating: 4.0 stars (88 to 91 points)
- Price: $18.99 at Total Wine & More
If you have never tried a Lagrein, I urge you to head to your local wine shop, pick up a bottle or two, and take a virtual trip to this beautiful region in Northeastern Italy.