Updated: Aug 23, 2021
My friend asked me the other day about Lagrein. She had never heard of the varietal before, and was ordering a selection of various wines from a club. Lagrein is from northern Italy, most renown in Südtirol, it produces well rounded tannic red wine, balanced with adequate acidity. In Trentino, it is also produced as a stunning rosé with plenty of weight. Look for Lagrein Rosato or Lagrein Kretzer. The red wines are often oak aged for a relatively extended duration often 18 months to 2 years, this allows earthy aromas to accent the wine and integrate with the cherry, plummy, dark fruit aromas. The juice itself has high tannic character, and can sustain the oak age.
In recent years the grape has gained popularity in Australia, and the U.S. market does offer some Australian Lagrein. Domestically, you can find examples from California, often blended with Syrah or Petite Sirah, though you can find the varietal independent of blends, the example I suggested to my friend is produced at “Imagery” wines, a Jaime Benziger project in California. Also, domestically look for Umpqua Valley A.V.A. and Montinore Estate in Willamette Valley. If you want to try Lagrein we can include it in a custom event.