2017 Lagrein Riserva DOC
In the selection of the Alto Adige wines, we couldn't forget to introduce our members to the famous native grape, Lagrein. Following our guidelines, we were looking for a small winery, family-owned that produces high-quality wines. The Fliederhof winery owned and operated by the Ramoser family fits perfectly in our wine club selection. Following tips from some of Tommaso's friends in Italy, who guaranteed the greatness of the wines from this winery, we talked with Martin, son of the winemaker Stefan, and we got some samples to try of their wines here in California (since we couldn't go to Italy in the last crazy year of 2020). We tried all of the wines, even the regular Lagrein, but we really fell in love with this complex and smooth Lagrein Riserva that expresses the best characteristics of this grape variety.
2017 Lagrein Riserva DOC by Fliederhof
Grape: 100% Lagrein
Region: Alto Adige (South Tyrol)
Tasting Notes: The color is a dense, deep purple. This wine is full-bodied with rich, gentle, velvety tannins and bright acidity making it incredibly food friendly. Juicy fruit notes of plum, dark cherry and blueberry balanced with mineral granite, pencil lead and bitter cocoa.
Raccomended drinking window: Best now until 2035
Temperature of Service: 62-65° F
Decanting: We recommend letting this wine open up for at least 1 hour to get the full expression, flavors and aromas. You can always use a decanter for a faster oxygenation. However, we enjoy sipping the wine and tasting, little by little, to see how the wine opens up. As Tommaso likes to say, "the best decanter is your glass".
Lagrein is an ancient grape variety that's native to Trentino-Alto Adige in northeastern Italy. It's been grown in this area for hundreds of years and the first mention of the grape in texts date back as far as the 16th century. It's most likely that it takes its name from the town of Val Lagarina in Trentino, however, other theories give Lagrein a Greek origin suggesting that its closely related to wines that were once made around the city of Lagaria. Recent DNA testing suggests that the grape Teroldego (also included in our Trentino-Alto Adige shipment) is a possible parent, supporting the theory that the variety is in fact native to northeastern Italy.
The Lagrein grapes reflects in its taste and flavor, the soil and the climate of the terroir where the vines are grown. The grapes for this wine come from a small vineyard at 300 meters above sea level in the famous area of Santa Maddalena (St. Magdalener), on the south border of the Valle D'Isarco (Eisack Valley), next to the city of Bolzano. The heavy rains of 1957 brought sediments from the surrounding mountains into the valley. This kind of soil and rubble heats up in the south-facing parcel during the day and stores heat. The gentle, cool air blows steadily through the rows of vines from the Eisack Valley. The interplay of these natural influences characterize the terroir of this vineyard, which is perfect for growing Lagrein, and make this wine so unique and special.
The small berries of the Lagrein grapes give to the wine a distinctive and intensive color. The tannic structure is medium plus and the tannins result in a smooth and velvety taste. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures and then it ages for 12 months in small and medium barrels (barriques and tonneaux) of French oak from Burgundy and Bordeaux. The wine goes through malolactic fermentation in the oak barrel, giving body and aromas to the wine. Finally, the wine refines in bigger oak barrels for few months and then in the bottle.
Fliederhof has been a family-owned winery since 1930, however, the first documented evidence of winemaking in the traditional region of St. Magdalner, overlooking Bozen in South Tyrol (Alto Adige) dates back to 1306. The property is small, only around 7.5 acres of vineyards. The vineyards are on the hillside at a steep 40 degree incline, which allows for manual work.
Vintner and owner Stefan, his wife Astrid and their son Martin, the next generation are involved in the entire winery operations, from growing the vines to harvesting the grapes until bottling and then selling the wines. As a family and team they devote all of their time and energy to producing high-quality wines. The philosophy of the winery is to respect the nature and the terroir, the impact of the man doesn't need to influence the natural process. They’re passionate and committed to practices of sustainability in the vineyards and work in harmony with the soil, plants and animals. Fliederhof allows you to experience the special pleasure of drinking honest, natural wines that are full of character. The wines produced reflect the soil and the climate where the grapes are grown.
This Lagrein is full-bodied with tannic structure, but it also has a classic north-Italian fresh, acidic structure and a slightly astringent finish, making it absolute perfection when paired with food. This is the perfect red wine for traditional mountain foods like hearty venison stew with dumplings or other game meats. Other ideal pairings include roast meats and hard cheeses.
For our recipe pairing, we chose a traditional mountain dish from Alto Adige: polenta e spezzatino.
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