2018 Lagrein, Tramin, Alto Adige, Italy
First the facts to set the scene for this remarkable wine. Cantina Tramin was founded in 1898 and it has 310 member winegrowers who stick rigidly to its carefully tuned vine-growing mantra. With 260 hectares of vineyards, situated at between 250 and 850 metres altitude, the fruit resource here is nothing short of incredible.
In 2011, this remarkable cooperative totted up its 20th Tre Bicchieri award in the Gambero Rosso, which means that this is one of Italy’s most elite wineries despite it being a name that only the most committed of Italian wine lovers would have come across over here.
Most famous for its crystalline white wines, in particular the extraordinary Stoan (£20.49, Strictlywine.co.uk), a mind-expanding chardonnay, sauvignon, pinot blanc and gewürztraminer blend, I have picked a shockingly pure lagrein this week, which will be sure to cement this winery’s skills in your taste memory for ever.
Simply fermented in steel tanks and cement vats and then given the briefest time in a variety of oak barrels to add a sprinkling of spicy seasoning, what I adore about this wine is the accuracy and richness of the flavour. Every single thing I crave about the fascinating and memorable lagrein grape is in the glass. With only 12.5% alcohol onboard and a massive amount of slick liquorice and blackberry fruit, I know that you will fall under this wine’s spell in just one sip.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)