“It Tastes Like Sour Wood” – Wine Review – 2003 La Vis I Baldazzini Lagrein, Trentino, Italy

lavislagreinfront“It tastes like sour wood”, is what my friend who sold me this bottle said to describe the taste of this wine.  Its probably the reason why he was unloading it on me too, because who wants to have a wine in their collection whose taste is described as such?  I guess schmoes like me since he approached me about it.  I know he didn’t mean it in a pejorative sense.  The art of wine description just happens to be a really weird field that uses remarks like cat pee and barn yard to describe things we actually should enjoy smelling and swallowing.

I was intrigued by this wine because I’ve only had lagrein once and really liked it, so I was excited to try one from another producer.  The grape is native to Northern Italy in the Trentino-Alto Adige region.  Outside of Trentino, the varietal is relatively obscure, which is why you almost never see it on retail shelves unless it’s a boutique wine shop specializing in the obscure, funky, off-beat stuff.  (Actually, as I write this, I just checked K&L Wines and they carry six Lagrein bottlings.  I guess the variety is making head way on to shelves).


The back label

In the glass, the wine was inky and black, like syrah which is what its related to along with dureza and pinot noir.  The smells were of dark cherries, berries and spice.  On the palate, sour wood.  I’m sure the power if suggestion was in play, but there was definitely a sour balsa wood sort of flavor to it, punctuated with a burst of sour cherries on the finish.  The wine was definitely robust, tannic and full-bodied, but the tart finish gave it sort of an air of lightness.  Very interesting wine.

I forgot to take note of the name of the importer, so I don’t have any other source such as a website to refer you to other than what’s in this review and what you can track down through an internet search.


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