Characteristic traits of a Lagrein wine are its dark colour and silky bouquet – a combination popular with wine lovers. The grape variety produces not only dense and flavoursome red wines, however. It is also used as the base wine for wonderfully fruity rosés.
Lagrein: a traditional variety dating from the Middle Ages
The Lagrein grape variety has its roots in South Tyrol. Its name most probably gives the clue to its origins as there is a small valley in the heart of the South Tyrol wine region – at the southern end of the Val d’Adige, to be precise – called Vallagarina in Italian, or Lagertal in German.
Cultivation of this variety is first mentioned in writing in 1525, though presumably Lagrein had been grown in the region for centuries already. It is grown almost exclusively in South Tyrol. The vineyards around the Gries district of Bolzano are the best known. The Lagrein variety is increasingly acquiring fans outside South Tyrol too. Certain winegrowers in Germany, Australia and California also use the grape for their wines.
Dark purple with a velvety touch
Lagrein is a vigorous grape variety that still has high acidity even when fully ripe. Owing to the high tannin content in the skins, a Lagrein varietal will mature for a long time in a barrel – easily for up to 18 months. This allows the tannin levels to fall, resulting in a full-bodied, tannin-rich red wine with a high acidity. Lagrein is also vinified to make wonderfully fruity rosé wines, known as Kretzer, with exotic notes.
The deep red wines with hues of purple unfold an aroma of plums with tobacco, leather and mushrooms on the nose. Berry fruit notes dominate on the palate, while the finish exhibits a hint of sour cherries. Lagrein wines are often served with roasts, game, wildfowl, dark meats and hard cheeses. Mondovino offers a selection of Lagrein wines and rosés, and they are available in Coop sales outlets too.