Bolzano Lagrein Perl 2014
Until 1989, Santa Magdalena made only red wines. Perhaps this is the reason that they gained the reputation for setting the standard for Lagrein in Alto Adige. In 1989 their first white wine was Sauvignon Blanc from the Mock vineyard. Today, Magdalena's vineyards start at about 200 meters and run higher than 800 meters continuing to produce Lagrein, Schiava, but also now Pinot Grigio, Gewurztraminer, Muller Thurgau, and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc).
Klaus Sparer, who oversees all projects for the winery, has been with the winery since he was 16 years old. Many of the farmers participating in the cooperative are 3rd and 4th generation, growing for and selling grapes to the winery just as their fathers and grandfathers did before them.
Trentino, the southern half, is primarily Italian-speaking and largely responsible for the production of non-native, international grapes. There is a significant quantity of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Merlot produced. But Trentino's native and most unique red variety, Teroldego, while still rare, is gaining popularity. It produces a deeply colored red wine rich in wild blackberry, herb, coffee and cocoa.
The rugged terrain of German-speaking Alto Adige (also referred to as Südtirol) focuses on small-scale viticulture, with great value placed on local varieties—though international varieties have been widely planted since the 1800s. Sheltered by the Alps from harsh northerly winds, many of the best vineyards are at extreme altitude but on steep slopes to increase sunlight exposure.
The primary white grapes are Pinot grigio, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot blanc, as well as smaller plantings of Sauvignon blanc, Müller Thurgau. These tend to be bright and refreshing with crisp acidity and just the right amount of texture. Some of the highest quality Pinot grigio in Italy is made here.
Incredibly concentrated in ripe blackberry and uncommonly sturdy in character, Lagrein balances its intensity with a gorgeous perfume reminiscent of fresh herbs, cut grass, juniper and violets. On the palate, bright red cherries and a savory splash lighten up its often hefty, but usually smooth, tannins. Deeply rooted in the Alto Adige area, Lagrein has recently experienced a great renaissance. While the climate is cool there, the sun is intense. The best Lagrein usually comes from the warm slopes near the bustling city of Bolzano. Lagrein Kretzer (German) or Rosato (Italian) is the spicy rosé version, which is delicious with smoked fish and white meat. Try Lagrein, the red wine, with gamey meats, beef and aged cheeses.