Alois Lageder is one of the major players on the South Tyrol wine map producing a large and varied quantity of quality and affordable wines. In it's fifth generation, the latest Lageder is one of the pioneers in bio dynamic wine making in the region. Lageder, like many producers in the area, buy in grapes from local growers for many of their cheaper, single varietal wines. Most of these wines are fair priced and jolly good examples of the vast variety of grapes able to reach full ripeness in the cool but endlessly sunny Southern Tyrol.
The single vineyard-Lageder produced wines are grown along bio dynamic lines and the entire estate is environmentally adapted to the nth degree with solar panelling propelling the operation.
Alois Lageders Cabernet Sauvignon Cor Romigberg is practically unrivalled in the Southern Tyrol. Although the area is blessed with a ridiculous amount of sunshine hours, Cabernet Sauvignon is perhaps not one of the varieties that springs to mind when we envisage the Southern Tyrol because Cabernet Sauvignon likes to bask in the heat to fully ripen. However, it is the exceptional management of the vines here, as well as exhaustive analysis of the grapes that has produced a cool climate Cabernet without the "green".
The Romigberg vineyards are one of the most southerly of the Lageder parcels, several miles south of Bolzano and just north of the town of Termeno. Nestled between lake and mountain, it is little surprise then that this Cabernet Sauvignon has a very real and pronounced vein of minerality. What is a surprise is the luscious fruit, spice and floral notes that the wine offers. Containing just 3% Petit Verdot as an accompanying grape it seems improbable that the PV is driving the fruit.
The Cor Romigberg is the pride of the Lageder brand and spends 20 months in two thirds new french oak followed by a further 8 in bottle before release. The vines are at high density using the Guyot trellising system. In Italy these wines come onto the market around the €30 mark which, comparing to Tuscan Cabernet Sauvignons of this standard is a remarkable bargain. This is a classic cool climate Cabernet so don't imagine that the flavour profile will be anything like a Tuscan or southern Italian Cab.
Recently I had the opportunity to try the '03, a blazing hot vintage throughout Italy that played a part in reducing the usual minerality of the wine and gave further notice to the fruit. The Cor Romigberg is a wine that can benefit from cellaring in more typical vintages, however with the '03 I'm happy to say the wine is drinking beautifully at the end of 2009.
Alois Lageder Cabernet Sauvignon Cor Romigberg 2003 - BUY - £32
The darkest brooding ruby red. The nose is at once cherries, oak inspired spice, cassis and tobacco, a real aroma fans wine. On the palate the wine has strong but not aggressive tannins, it is powerful and the fruit is complimented by a straight minerality that gives this wine it's cool climate Cabernet feel. The finish is long and fruit driven the same as the attack. 90 Points.
Without tasting previous vintages it is hard to know if the Cor Romigberg is never green due to the grape selection process or if this particular vintage was so warm in the Southern Tyrol that this vintage is an anomaly putting it somewhere between a hot and cold climate Cabernet, it is at the very least a delicious wine.
Food Match: Lamb cutlets.
Best Wines from this Producer: Consistently excellent within their varietal.Cabernet Sauvignon Cor Romigberg
Pinot Grigio Benefizium Porer
Pinot Nero Krafuss
Where can I buy this Wine?
Europeans - Superiore.de - €36
Americans - SS Wines - $26.99
Brits - Superiore.de - £32
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