I am constantly telling my friends, students and frankly anyone who will listen to experiment with wine. Thirty plus years ago I would not have been so bold, but today the overall quality and diversity of wine available from all around the globe demands that people take a chance and stray from their comfort zone.

One such wine that deserves attention is the 2014 Lagrein from the Colterenzio Cooperative in Alto Adige, a small region in the northeast corner of Italy. The cooperative was started in 1960 with 28 producers. Over the last 50 years the cooperative has grown to 300 producers and over 300 hectares of land under vine.

The wine comes from the southern part of Alto Adige or the Sudtirol, which is home to some of the Alto Adige’s highest vineyards. Warmer than other more northern areas, the sub region’s climate is conducive to ripening red grapes. Along with the mixed soils of limestone, marl, dolomite and sand, the vines produce grapes of exceptional quality and distinction.

Lagrein is a red grape variety descended from Teroldego and related to Syrah, Pinot Noir and Dureza. It is believed to be native to the Lagarina Valley in Trentino. For many years the grape produced highly tannic wines that were tough and unapproachable. Modern wine making techniques have transformed the wines made from Lagrein into expressive, voluptuous wines with bright, fragrant personalities.

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The 2014 Lagrein from Colterenzio is magical. The wine has a lively, fragrant nose with fresh floral notes and hints of herbal sweetness. On the palate the wine is bright and fruity with some dark rose attar and cherry notes. The wine has well-integrated tannin and just enough acid to give it structure. Drinking well, the wine should age well for another 2 to 4 years in the bottle.

Another nice feature of the wine is the price. At $13.99 per bottle before any discount, the wine is a great value and perfect for the summer weather!

Cheers!

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