Tasting Lagrein Award

It's shortly before 17 o'clock. Wednesday afternoon. I am in the car on the road towards the Bolzano Exhibition Center. My brother Franz just called, I should hurry. The organizers of the Tasting Lagrein Award want to start punctually at 5 pm with the awarding of the best Lagreins of South Tyrol. We are nominated in the most prestigious category, the Lagrein Riserva. With our Gran Lareyn Riserva 2015. what a round vintage, this 2015. I still remember the many sunny days, the harmoniously scattered rainfall and the relaxed harvest days. That's right, that's exactly how this Lagrein Riserva 2015 tastes, harmonious and relaxed, full structure and a woolly finish, in the style of a great wine. Find a parking space quickly...luckily my brother is waiting for me and brings us step by step directly to the brand new South Tyrol Lounge. Right through the middle of the many stands of the hotel fair taking place at the same time. There we are already welcomed by our colleagues, the organizers and the press. We made it just in time. We sit down, second row, in the back of an old friend, Federica Randazzo, Slow Wine employee and freelance journalist.

Like last year, where we won, Pierluigi Gorgoni will open the awards ceremony. A master of the curved words. Whoever can follow his Italian, a feast for the ears.This year the organizers have come up with something new. In each of the 3 categories, Lagrein Kretzer, Lagrein and Lagrein Riserva, 4 finalists were invited. For each category the 4 producers are invited on stage. Each winegrower or cellar master or chairman can tell the audience a short story about the wine. I, too, have one to two minutes maximum to tell something to the guests present. But can I really expect them to do the whole winery and cellar synopsis? I quickly recall from my "vintage memory" vintage Lagrein 2015. Most of the grapes come from my mother-in-law's winery in Gries. The rest from the slopes around St. Justina. A gentle maceration, mostly whole berry, short cold maceration, controlled spontaneous fermentation with pied de cuve. Délestage and reassembly are carried out for the extraction of color and tannins, all in traditional fermentation wood barrels. In the first year, the wine is aged in barriques and in the second year in 500 liter tonneaux. For the last 6-8 months the wine is stored in steel barrels and finally bottled in spring after 32 months.Oh, this is getting much too technical. I would simply like to thank the organizers and remind you of something more important and current: we have just harvested our 40th vintage according to biodynamic guidelines. No sooner said than done. Then Federica Randazzo, in the style of an eloquent presenter of the famous Oscar awards ceremony, begins to announce the winner of the Lagrein Riservas. And the suspense mounts throughout the hall, right up to the words: Il vincitore é... Unbelievable, we made it, our Gran Lareyn Lagrein Riserva 2015 is the winning wine. With great satisfaction my brother and I laugh at each other. A moment of joy and satisfaction.

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