2011 Oak Works Lagrein

Oak Works Wines was established in 2001 and said to be the birthplace of alternative varietals in the Riverland Region. Although not possessing vineyards of its own, co-owner and winemaker Peter Rogers purchases premium fruit from local Riverland plots for its extensive portfolio of alternative varietals. My impression is that this is a labour of love where traditional handmade techniques with the use of oak barrels, can only benefit the final product.  

Lagrein is an ancient Italian red variety from the Trentino Alto-Adige region in north-east Italy, some manuscripts dating it back to the fourteenth century. Genetic research suggests the variety is a direct descendant of the Teroldego grape, a geographical neighbour and a grandchild of Pinot Noir. That evidence appears to have put paid to the original theory that Lagrein's origin was Greek.

Deep inky purple colour from the first splash, almost black in the glass. Visually, you might expect a big wine but this is not heavy by any means. Lifted licorice, violet floral notes and dark fruit aromatics going on. Savoury dark plums, sour cherry, lively acidity and intense grainy tannins greet the palate. There is a savoury chocolate mid-palate with gamey characters, which I liked. Mid-weight and silky textured wine. Persistent savoury finish with a touch of cherry pip bitterness on the aftertaste. Fourteen months in older American oak has mellowed the wine, ironing out the earthy chewiness typical of the variety and making it very approachable. 

Peter Rogers has it going on with the no wood no good, back to the future approach to winemaking and it shows. Great stuff. Thoroughly enjoyed this drop.

Source: Sample. Alcohol: 13.5%. Closure: Cork. Price: $20.00. Rating: 92 Points.

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