Showing posts with label Lagrein. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lagrein. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Alto Adige Wine: Lagrein From An Abbey

A recent online tasting session featuring wines of Italy’s Alto Adige region was put on by Alto Adige Wines and Bottlenotes and was hosted by Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible and acting editor-in-chief of the daily email blast, The Daily Sip. Participants tasted the eight wines and chatted in virtual fashion about their swirling, smelling and sipping experiences. 

The Alto Adige region is located in the far northern reaches of Italy, just below Austria. Italian and German are spoken in the region, and it is not uncommon to find German words on the labels of the region’s wines.


@thedailysip commented during the event that, "Alto Adige can be the #GoldilocksWine between the light wines of summer and dense bold wines of winter." @KMacWine tweeted, "@AltoAdigeWines can often be overlooked. That can have an upside: great value." That is one of my favorite tricks when looking for a great wine deal - an overlooked wine region.


Here are the Alto Adige wines featured during the virtual tasting event:

Castel Sallegg Pulvernai Pinot Grigio 2014 
Alois Lageder Porer Pinot Grigio 2013
Cantina Terlano Vorberg Pinot Bianco 2012 
Colterenzio Prail Sauvignon 2013 
Cantina Andrian Gewürztraminer 2014
Kellerei Kaltern Caldaro Pfarrhof Kalterersee Auslese 2013
Erste + Neue Mezzan Pinot Nero 2013
Abbazia di Novacella Praepositus Lagrein 2010


Abbazia di Novacella Praepositus Lagrein 2010 (Alto Adige, Italy) $34

During the social media event, @AltoAdigeWines tweeted,"Get ready for a truly unique varietal that is native to Alto Adige: #Lagrein!" They added, "The first documented mention of #Lagrein in Alto Adige was in the year 1318."

The Abbazia di Novacella Praepositus is imported by Michael Skurnik Wines, and they offer a bit of history about the producer.

“Located in the sleepy little burg of Novacella, in the Isarco River Valley," they write, "Abbazia was founded in 1142 by the Augustinian Order of Canons Regular. The Augustians are not monks in the sense that you may be familiar with. They have taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to their superiors, but they also work to support themselves as a part of their community. To this end, the Abbey not only grows grapes for winemaking, but also farms apples and vegetables, and there is a small school devoted primarily to studies of viticulture. The abbey’s reputation as a winery is stellar and international.  In 2009, Italy’s influential Gambero Rosso named Celestino Lucin, the abbey’s enologist, winemaker of the year." 

Skurnik adds that while the winery has not done the bureaucratic legwork necessary to achieve Italy's organic certification, "the estate is practicing organic."

Fermentation for this Lagrein occurs in stainless steel tanks, with regular punchdowns for almost three weeks to maximize the skin contact. Malolactic fermentation is allowed to complete and the wine is aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, then nine months in the bottle. Alcohol is moderate at 13.5% abv.

On the social media front, @KMacWine tweeted, "#Lagrein is a wine that every serious wine lover should know. Definitely try to find one if you haven’t tried it before."

This red wine is very dark, both in appearance and in smell. The wine's nose offers lovely aromas of blackberry and blueberry draped in savory notes of spice, herb and black olives. The palate is just as complex, with black berries, anise, a little tar and a trace of espresso.

@AltoAdigeWines advises pairing the 2010 Abbazia di Novacella Praepositus Lagrein with roasted meats & aged cheeses. @thedailysipsuggestspairing this Lagrein "with a Weinkase Lagrein (aka wine cheese), which is made by aging the cheese in #Lagrein wine." 



Monday, October 26, 2015

Alto Adige Wine: Sciava And Lagrein Blend

A recent online tasting session featuring wines of Italy’s Alto Adige region was put on by Alto Adige Wines and Bottlenotes and was hosted by Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible and acting editor-in-chief of the daily email blast, The Daily Sip. Participants tasted the eight wines and chatted in virtual fashion about their swirling, smelling and sipping experiences. 

The Alto Adige region is located in the far northern reaches of Italy, just below Austria. Italian and German are spoken in the region, and it is not uncommon to find German words on the labels of the region’s wines.

You may know of Alto Adige by their white wines - aromatic, with wonderful minerality and acidity. Only sixty percent of the area’s wines are from white grapes, however. Pinot Grigio is the leading white grape, and they are probably a far sight better than the Pinot Grigio you may find in the grocery or on restaurant wine lists. Schiava is the most popular red grape, with Lagrein and Pinot Noir also showing well.

@thedailysip commented during the event that, "Alto Adige can be the #GoldilocksWine between the light wines of summer and dense bold wines of winter." @KMacWine tweeted, "@AltoAdigeWines can often be overlooked. That can have an upside: great value." That is one of my favorite tricks when looking for a great wine deal - an overlooked wine region.


Here are the Alto Adige wines featured during the virtual tasting event:

Castel Sallegg Pulvernai Pinot Grigio 2014 
Alois Lageder Porer Pinot Grigio 2013
Cantina Terlano Vorberg Pinot Bianco 2012 
Colterenzio Prail Sauvignon 2013 
Cantina Andrian Gewürztraminer 2014
Kellerei Kaltern Caldaro Pfarrhof Kalterersee Auslese 2013
Erste + Neue Mezzan Pinot Nero 2013
Abbazia di Novacella Praepositus Lagrein 2010


Kellerei Kaltern-Caldaro Pfarrhof Kalterersee Auslese 2013 (Alto Adige, Italy) $15

The history of Kellerei Kaltern-Caldaro is described on their website as the result of two combined wineries.  "Today’s operation was formed by the 1992 merger of two long-established local cellars, the Bauernkellerei (Farmer’s Cellar) and the Jubiläumskellerei (Jubilee Cellar)." Both producers were established in the early 20th century.

Their historical sketch continues: "In 1919, after the First World War, Alto Adige became part of Italy. The subsequent outbreak of the Second World War radically transformed the region and its network of commercial relationships. It was only in the Fifties that Kaltern wines reasserted themselves as high-profile products for export markets."

The word Kalterersee on the label is German for Lake Kaltern. An Auslese wine, in German, means the grapes were picked as late harvest, although the botrytis that often comes with late picking does not generally dominate these wines. This one is certainly not a dessert wine. fermentation occurred on the skins for ten days, with malolactic fermentation to soften the mouthfeel and six months of aging on the lees - in contact with the spent yeast cells - which also adds to a full feel in the mouth. The aging took place in steel tanks as well as casks.

The Pharrhof Kelterersee is made from 95% Schiava and five percent Lagrein grapes, at 13% abv. @AltoAdigeWines pointed out that "the Schiava grape variety is native to Alto Adige," while @KMacWine tweeted, "Most people know the whites of Alto Adige but red wines like schiava and lagrein are a flavor trip!" From  @thedailysip: "The precision in this wine is like making the switch to HD TV for the first time."

The wine has a dark ruby hue, with almost no light admitted through it in the glass. Aromas are subtle and indicative of a cool vintage in a cool-climate region - raspberries and minerals with dark savory notes of black olives and roasted nuts. More fruit comes through on the palate, with strawberries lending some ripeness to the tart raspberry flavor. The level of acidity is a marvel and the ripest fruit is saved for the finish.

I liked the wine paired with a nice salami and a sharp cheddar. @AltoAdigeWines says, "Pair the 2014 Kaltern Caldaro Pfarrhof Kalterersee w/ light meats and mild cheeses." It makes a great apéritif, too.




Friday, May 25, 2012

Italian Wine: Eisacktaler Kellerei Sudtirol Lagrein 2009

A new Italian restaurant has opened in Los Angeles, Victor Casanova’s Gusto.  Just down 3rd Street from the Beverly Center, Gusto is tiny - probably no more than a few dozen seats.  That makes the wine list seem even bigger, and I like that.  It’s an eclectic and wide-ranging menu of wines which offers a lot for a grape geek to get excited about.

I couldn’t resist the call of the Lagrein, a grape which is terribly underrepresented on L.A. wine lists - even in Italian restaurants.  This Lagrein comes from Eisacktaler Kellerei, a winery in the Valle Isarco region of northern Italy’s Sudtirol in Alto Adige.  I’ve had their Kerner before and was quite impressed with it.  Their website describes the area beautifully: “where glaciers meet the gentle hillside landscapes of the Mediterranean.”  The Lagrein is grown in the gravelly soil of Gries near Bolzano.

The Kellerei Lagrein also made an impression on me.  It’s a richly aromatic wine which broods darkly in the glass.  A tarry nose has a floral element, but it puts me in mind of a rather mean flower.  The whole essence of the wine seems very dark visually as well as aromatically.  The palate shows very nice acidity with fairly stiff tannins. Blackberry and smoke flavors are deep and imposing. 

The pairing with my fennel sausage pasta was good, but this wine will stand up to much heavier, beefier plates, too.


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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mosby La Seduzione 2004


The Bottle:

Beautiful artwork is what strikes me on first glance. The Mosby wines are famous for their beautifully illustrated labels by Robert Scherer. This brown/green tinted bottle contains La Seduzione, 2004 French Camp Vineyard California red wine. It's a Lagrein, which we find on the back label is an Italian varietal found largely near Bolzano. Fortunately, there's also Lagrein growing in the French Camp, near San Luis Obispo. Also fortunately, Bill Mosby found them and procured them to make some wine from them.

The Nose:

Rich and forceful, the aromas leap from the glass. There's a fair whiff of alcohol, but not so much that it can obscure the black cherry, blackberry, licorice and leather. I believe my tasting notes from the winery may have indicated a "forest floor with blackberries tromped into the soil," or some such silliness. These are very dark, but fruity aromas.

The Taste:

Flavors of black cherry soda and big, dark plums dominate the palate for me. There are notes of cocoa and spices in there. It's a big, big taste. I would not recommend pairing this with anything too tame or sedate. This is a powerful wine that calls out for brash food to match it.