About Wine – Franz Haas, Lagrein

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About Wine features wines not typically on one’s shopping radar. Special wines – made from grapes or blends, regions or countries – that may not be common or well known. About a wine, or winemaker, with a story to tell; of place, process or style. Highlighting smaller artisanal producers making unique, reasonably priced (under $50 retail) wines, all the while demonstrating careful earth stewardship.

2014, Franz Haas, Lagrein, Alto Adige (pronounced “Ah d.j.”), Italy

About the Region: Located in northeastern Italy, the Alto Adige lies at the base of the Alps bordering Austria. Formerly known as South Tyrol, the region was annexed by Italy in 1926, German remains the region’s first language. Featuring rugged topography with cultivation possible in only 15 per cent of the Adige Valley, the region is compelled to rely on quality as its wine trademark.

About the Maker: Established in the 1800s, the winery is run by the

7th generation of the Haas family. Winemaker Franz Haas brings a scientific yin to the winemaking; supported by wife and creative director Maria who brings an artistic yang.

About the Making: Indigenous to the Alto Adige, Lagrein thrives at high altitude (here almost 1,000 feet a.s.l.). Low-yielding vines, planted at high density, contribute the wine’s intense flavour profile.

About the Wine: Elegant garnet in appearance, the bouquet hints of red fruit, violet, and spice. Elegance reflects on the palate as it pleases with medium-bodied notes of plums, rhubarb and cocoa.

With European demand for Lagrein (especially from Austria) exceeding production, supply for far-off markets remains limited.

About the Label: Label artist Riccardo Schweizer painted with Picasso and Chagall

About Pairing: Pair with charcuterie, sausages, or spice-rubbed poultry.

About Distribution: Check liquorconnect.com (call the store to confirm availability).

CSPC # 766943

About Price: $38