(Lagrein pronunciation: Lah-GRAH’EEN)
Lagrein is an ancient grape variety that dates back to the start of the 16th century. The majority of Lagrein grapes reside in the sunny vineyards of Trentino Alto Adige in northern Italy, a tiny region at the foot of the Italian Alps. The name Lagrein is believed to come from the town Val Lagarina in Trentino. Complications that sometimes occur with the grapes are that they can result in a low and irregular yield, which presents harsh tannins in finished wines. To ensure the grapes ripen properly, they need an immense amount of sunshine, making their Italy home, as well as parts of Australia and California, locations where they thrive.
Strong and full-bodied, Lagrein wine stands out as the most significant red wine in a region where white wines like Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay dominate. This deep colored wine is often used in blends with Schiava and Teroldego, or international grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Aromas of plum, leather, and violet emanate from Lagrein red wine. Jammy flavors of plum, wild cherry, and raspberry with highly tannic and acidic structures embody the taste of Lagrein. As a whole, the wine has the complexity of a Cabernet and the easy drinking nature of Pinot Noir.
The best Lagrein wine food pairings are rich meats including smoked pork, pork chops, and venison, as well as aged cheeses. The wines can be aged several years, but the best Lagrein wines are drunk within a few years of being harvested.
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