Terlan 2010 Lagrein Rosé (Alto Adige) – Straightforward chilled-berry pinkishness with a slender mineral core. A bit grapey as it lingers. A simple idea, simply executed. (7/11)
Pojer e Sandri Vigneti delle Dolomiti “Merlino” (Trentino) – Fortified lagrein. Intriguing. More high-toned and powdery than most fortified reds, which could well be a function of latitude, and whirling a bit under a heady sensation of crushed purple flowers. Good, mostly, but it doesn’t quite achieve the spicy richness of its more southerly brethren. Not that I’d expect it to. (12/09)
Muri-Gries 2007 Lagrein Rosato (Alto Adige) – Strawberry and raspberry rendered in neon. More candied than I’d like, but it’s a Japanese candy…one of those things with lemongrass and shrimp that sorta redefines what one thinks of as candy. It’s initially offputting, but eventually wins my intellectual side over with a lot of striking complexity. My emotional side remains suspicious of its Technicolor, though. (8/08)
Vivallis 2007 Lagrein (Trentino) – Dirt and tar. Exceedingly underripe. Horrid. (2/08)
Muri-Gries 2005 Lagrein (Alto Adige) – A baby. Very aromatic, resembling a pinot in its structure but something more akin to a cru Beaujolais/syrah blend in taste. Finely-grained and highly adaptable with food despite an initial austerity. Ultimately, quite pleasant. (10/07)
Castelfeder 2004 Lagrein (Alto Adige) – Cold chalk and powerded red fruit (cherry, strawberry, cranberry). Lithe and balanced, but standoffish beyond the point of difficulty. A chilly wine. (2/07)
Mayr-Nusser “Nusserhof” 2004 Lagrein “Riserva” (Alto Adige) – Quartzy minerality, cold verbena, and mint. Pretty, in a very Teutonic way, with a lovely finish (perhaps that comes after the Teutonic beauty finally warms up). (1/08)
Mumelter “Griesbauerhof” 2004 Lagrein (Alto Adige) – It’s light, it’s heavy, it’s light, it’s heavy. This wine pulses with a dark energy, a blood-stained metal bar reaching back for another blow to the head, then a friendly, fresh-faced basket of fruit and red, summery flowers. It’s a disturbing juxtaposition, frankly, but the wine somehow works. There’s a bit of brett, but just a complexing accent rather than a palate-wearying slathering. I’d let it age. (1/07)
Mumelter “Griesbauerhof” 2004 Lagrein (Alto Adige) – Dark metal tubing, structured and iron-driven around the edges but a little hollow and windy at the core. The iron elements actually verge on bloody, as there’s a significant brett component, and the dark fruit residue doesn’t quite match up to it. It’s good, in a peculiar sort of way, but it’s definitely not a crowd-pleaser, and I’m not sure that age will improve things; it would in the absence of brett, but… (12/06)
Cantina Tramin 2001 Lagrein (Alto Adige) – So aromatically deadened that I worry about TCA for a few minutes after uncorking. But, not so. Just another wine completely muffled by an ill-advised vacation in barrique-land. There’s nothing here but the winemaking.
Lagrein is a grape that doesn’t get much respect. And it’s not shown much, here. What should be aromatically and structurally individualistic might as well be bargain-basement merlot shipped off to the nearest supermarket. What a waste. Alcohol: 12.5%. Importer: Winebow. Web: http://www.tramin-wine.it/.