Thursday, September 17, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - California Red - 2013 Rhythm Wine Co Lagrein

Today's wine is very interesting for two key reasons. First up is the grape used - Lagrein.  This grape is very unusual to see outside of its main home in Italy's Alto Adige region.  The grape can be tough to grow, often producing irregular yields year to year. It can also produce harsh, overly tannic wines.  See why not many people want to tangle with this grape?

The second interesting aspect of the wine is the winemaker. Jasper Dickson is very young, and his Rhythm Wine label is more of a side project, producing only about 400 cases per year.  He makes only two wines, this Lagrein and a Syrah.  Enough wine geek-speak...let's drink!
Wine: 2013 Rhythm Wine Co Lagrein
Region: California (Santa Clara Valley)
Grape Varieties: Lagrein

Obtained from: Purchased at K&L Wines, Hollywood, California
Price: $30
Wino4Life Category: Weekend Wine

Aeration before tasting: Just a swirl or two, no special aeration.

Cork Condition: Natural cork - no defects or issues.
Appearance: Clear and dark, dark!  Dark purple almost to the point of black.  Even the rim color is a dark purple.
Aroma: Blackberries and blueberries to an intensity that resembles dried fruit.  Not aromas of cooked fruit that I was expecting based on how dark the wine is... a pleasant surprise.

Taste: Definitely lots of dark fruit, and while it is a tannic wine - I am surprised and impressed by the balance.  A nice level of acidity makes it very drinkable now, but with those tannins this one could have a very long life on a shelf with no problem.

The Grade: I give this one an A.  To try a wine from such a rare, hard to grow grape and find it to be so different from what I expected (in a great way!) is awesome.  At $30, while not cheap, I'm amazed that such a unique, boutique wine is available at such a low price.  I fully believe in trying new things often in the world of food and wine. Finds like this wine are the rewards from being just a little bit daring!


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