2018 Lagrein, Kellerei Kurtatsch, Alto Adige

A wonderful example of northern Italy’s Lagrein grape – deep coloured and bathed in black cherry, spice, violet and slightly ashy mineral flavours, all carried by nimble tannins and Alpine freshness and energy (Lagrein’s tannins can be a bit coarse, so the velvet-smoothness here is all the more welcome). It’s a variety with fascinating origins: a natural cross of another north Italian grape, Teroldego, and an unidentified variety, it also counts Pinot as one of its grandparents and Syrah as a cousin. On a practical level, it’s very versatile with food: spot on with confit de canard and baked lamb shanks with spices and anchovy, but could equally be paired with griddled duck breasts, duck with cherries, lamb with red peppers, pulled pork, aubergine parmigiana, imam bayildi or an onion tart.

Joanna Simon in www.joannasimon.com, 1st Aug 2019

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