JWL Issue #073: What is lagrein? Plus, a focus on 2 Wine List Wines

October 22, 2019

Loathe as I am to mention the dreaded B- word, the UK’s delaying some of the import hikes that will happen in the case of Brexit. While the current uncertainty means we don’t know an exact future, we can all expect European wine to take a small hike in a few years time post-Brexit.

This week’s Taste I wanted to focus on the two last wines from The Wine List. Until now, I’ve mostly avoided including these wines here, but want to share the wealth for regular readers too. If you like the sound of them and want to sign up to make sure you don’t miss out next month, register at thewinelist.net today.


Grüner Veltliner has become one of my favourite grapes of the last few months. During September I tasted something over 400 wines, and my biggest surprise area was grüner. This Austrian one from Markus Huber was my standout favourite. Mineral, quaffable, peppery and aromatic. The nose here is inviting and spicy, but there’s a wonderfully textured body to this on the palate as well. There are loads of non-fruit aromas in here too. Hugely pleasing.

Alto-Adige in Northern Italy, has an endlessly fascinating Germanic heritage. It’s one of Italy’s far lesser known regions, and lagrein is one of the country’s lesser known grape varieties. Cantina Andriano’s Rubeno is an amazing starting point to dive into from here. Sour cherries, blackberries and violets dominate this aroma, and will be a treat for any fan of bolder, bigger reds. The tannins though are smooth, with a wonderful fresh acidic bite. While this complements food beautifully, it’s a great drinker to finish off long after the meal is finished.


I've never heard of lagrein, what is it?

Lagrein was once one of the dominant grapes in Italy’s most northernmost wine region, though whites have taken over more recently. These wines are full-bodied, deep in colour, with wild black fruits in aroma. Despite this hotter climate, the wines are still known for freshness and acidity.

These wines stand up to chilling, but it’s not necessary. Their tannins mean they pair well with fatty dishes. And they’ve got varietal connections to syrah, for Rhone fans.

Further reading

“UK delays imposing new import rules for wine from EU” - FT

10x your wine knowledge in the next six months - The Wine List

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol - Wiki

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