I felt like having an Italian wine last evening so I looked through my cellar and decided on the 2005 Georg Mumelter Griesbauerhof Lagrein ($19). This wine is imported by Adonna Imports and I bought it at the Farfalle Italian Market in Concord.
This wine is from the Alto Adige region. The bottle mentions the Sudtirol which means "South Tyrol" and is old name for the Alto Adige. This region is close to Austria which helps explains the label which seems to be more German than Italian. Georg Mumelter's farm, which is named "Griesbauerhof," is located outside of Bolzano. Bolzano is main of the Alto Adige region.
The 2005 Georg Mumelter Griesbauerhof Lagrein uses the indigenous Italian grape, Lagrein. Said to be a cousin to Syrah, it does share some common characteristics of Syrah as well. Red wine made from Lagrein may also be referred to as Dunkel or Scuro. Like Syrah, Lagrein can be very dark in color and tannic. Lagrein thrives in sandy, alluvial soils such as those around Bolzano.
This wine certainly was dark, a rich, deep purple in color. It had an interesting nose of dark berry with a hint of spice and almost herbal notes. On the palate, there was plenty of dark fruit, including blackberry, blueberry and black cherry. There were spicy undertones that enriched the fruit and just a tinge of herbs. It did not have that really vegetal taste I dislike, more just a sprinkling of intriguing herbs that complemented the wine. ,It had a decently long finish, plenty of acidity and was moderately tannic. Definitely a food wine, and for a hearty dish such as beef.
I enjoyed this wine as it had an overall unique taste to it. All of the flavors melded together well and each provided its own interesting component. For under $20, I recommend it as a Drink and Buy.