Terlano Greis Riserva Lagrein 2011
Founded in 1893, the Cantina Terlano winery is now one of the leading wine growers’ cooperatives in South Tyrol, with a current membership of 143 growers working a total area of 190 hectares. That is the equivalent of some 1.5 million bottles of wine a year. We and our members have long had a strong focus on quality. That has attracted praise and recognition on the Italian and international wine markets, and in spite of its relatively small size, Cantina Terlano is now well established in the world of wine.
Our modern winery produces 30 percent red and 70 percent white wines, all of them of DOC quality (Controlled Designation of Origin). Following the last upgrade and refurbishment in 2009, our cellars now include a total of 18,000 cubic meters of storage space, which ensures that the wines can develop undisturbed. On the outside, the new tract has a natural facing of red porphyry, the stone that gives the wines in the area their typical character. The roof is planted with vines so that it blends in completely with the surrounding countryside.
Our wines are marketed in two distinct quality lines: Selections and traditional line. An annual rarity is also produced, which only comes on the market after it has spent at least ten years maturing in our cellars. That makes it a fine symbol of our focus on longevity.
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.