Check out this wine, available at Dallas’ best Italian wine store, Jimmy’s, for $18. The 2013 Tramin Lagrein from Italy’s northernmost wine making region, Alto Adige. It is made from 100% Lagrein, an indigenous Alto Adige grape variety related to Syrah and Pinot Noir. I found the nose to resemble the lactic and cherry aromas of another Italian grape, Dolcetto. The wine’s representative, Josh Naquin of Republic National Distributing Company, said that with its nose of banana, white pepper and spices it reminded him of France’s cru beaujolais, the finest expression of the Gamay grape.
Either way, I found it special as I have never knowingly come across it before. Jimmy’s principal, Paul DiCarlo, said that, although still obscure, interest in it is picking up. So far as longevity goes, Tramin’s Director of Marketing and Sales, Wolfgang Klotz, recommends drinking it now or keeping it up to five years. I would decant it well and serve it with game or lamb.
This wine was part of the second news item here: Jimmy’s holds sit-down wine tastings about once every two weeks. They are always focused on Italian wines (the store’s wine specialty). They always have a highly qualified speaker (often a winemaker or senior winery executive) and often that person has come in from Italy. They always serve enviable food, and the price is always drop dead reasonable.
In sum, Jimmy’s tastings are among the most fun and informative in Dallas. Sign up for their newsletter at their website but, be aware, their tastings are very popular and almost always sell out, so reserve early.