Monday, June 4, 2012

muri-gries, lagrein rosato, 2009

muri-gries lagrein rosato 2009

this was not a remarkable wine, though it was pleasant and not cripplingly expensive. the producer is cantina convento muri-gries, an old benedictine abbey very close to the austrian border. before this, i'd never had a lagrein, which the internet suggests is a tannic and acidic red grape. a rosato (a rosé wine) can be made by crushing red grapes and leaving the pulp and skins floating about for just enough time for some of the skin pigments, aromatics, and other delicious things to transfer to the juice. a rosato of a tannic, acidic red grape is smart: light enough to be refreshing, enough acid and tannin to remain interesting. this appears to be the strategy of the spanish monastrell rosados, or the mourvèdre rosés of bandol (ampelographers classify monastrell and mourvèdre as the same grape variety).

poured fairly cold (around 45F). in the glass, a deepish pink, very clear. didn't smell like much to start, then an unexpected but pleasant fresh mushroom aroma after warming up a little. in the mouth, it was off-dry and extremely crisp, with drying tannins and a fat sort of minerality, like licking a piece of limestone clay. (good party trick.) on the table, there was a large slab of perfectly grilled steelhead salmon accompanied by a bowl of grilled fennel: this was a great pairing. the bowl of grilled anaheim peppers, not so much. at the end of the night, there was still some left in the bottle — perhaps the best indicator of all. i put it out of its misery.

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