2020 Erste + Neue Lagrein, Südtirol-Alto Adige DOC, Italy (750ml)

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The Alto Adige (or Süd Tyrol, as it's called by the German-speaking inhabitants) is known for large, high-quality co-operative wineries. Erste + Neue means 'First + New’. The name represents the merger of the first (‘erste') co-op cellar in Caldaro, which was founded in 1900, and the newest ('neue') co-op cellar founded in 1925 after Alto Adige became a part of Italy following World War I. The two co-ops united under one label in 1986. In 2016 Erste + Neue incorporated a third co-op, Cantina Kaltern, but continues to operate under the name Erste + Neue.

Today, E+N makes a range of white wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Müller Thurgau, and three excellent reds: Schiava, Pinot Nero and Lagrein. Gerhard Sanin, the enologist for E+N, favors a bright, restrained winemaking style that really allows the varietal to shine. Lagrein makes for a bold red wine full of dark fruits and smooth tannins.

100% organically farmed Lagrein from 32-year-old vines. Ten days maceration at low temperatures in thermoregulated stainless-steel fermenters with selected yeasts. The wine was aged for 4 months in large wooden casks, then fined with Bentonite and sterile filtered before bottling. Made to drink young.

Deep purple. Inviting aromas of ripe bramble fruits. The palate is fresh and juicy, with flavors of fresh blackberry, marionberry and black cherry. Medium-bodied and fruit-driven with pleasant acidity and soft, well integrated tannins.

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