WOTW: Alois Lageder 2008 BETA DELTA Lagrein – Merlot

May 27, 2011

Today’s Wine of the Week has a long name _ Alois Lageder 2008 BETA DELTA Lagrein – Merlot _ but a short description: Very tasty.

This wine is a blend of lagrein, a red wine grape that grows mostly in the South Tyrol, and merlot. It retails for about $22-$28; I got mine as a sample.

Lageder is the fourth-generation member of his family to run the Lageder winery in northeastern Italy. He’s known as a believer in biodynamic farming, a system based on the writings of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner that involves farming organically and paying close attention to the vines as well as some more mystical elements that have drawn criticism.

To me, the proof of a philosophy is in the bottle, so let’s get to it.

Color: Dark red/purple

Smell: Red and black fruit with a little hit of pepper

Taste: Smooth, juicy and rich with a nice balance of freshness (acidity) and body (firm but not at all harsh tannins).

Pair with: Red meats, cheeses, especially a sharp cheddar.

A special bonus: The wine is listed at a modest 12.5 percent alcohol.

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