Staff Selections •Peter Plaehn

Winter Pick 2023

Andriano Rosé of Lagrein

(Alto Adige, Italy)

Surdyk's Price

Sold out

Right up there with the outdated ideas of “Champagne is only for celebrations” and “Riesling is always sweet” is “Rosé season is only in the summer.” Keri chose a rosé for the same reason I did: It’s Always Rosé Season! I get a little particular about my cold-weather rosé, however, and like a fuller-bodied pink rather than the lighter, crisper versions I reach for in summer. A rosé of Pinot Noir will have great cherry and strawberry notes I like in warm weather, but a rosé of Syrah or, in this case, Lagrein, will produce a more savory, rhubarb and raspberry-inflected wine. Add in variables like how it was pressed (direct, saignée, or maceration) and Rosé can easily become one of the most versatile styles around. Andriano’s Rosé of Lagrein combines two variables (a savory grape variety and direct press) with the third variable: age! A well-made rosé can age several years (or more), but the acids soften and the flavors round out to be more friendly in cooler weather, in my opinion. High-altitude Lagrein grapes from the stunningly gorgeous Italian region of Sudtirol (Alto Adige) are aged on the fine lees, which have a touch of color from the red skins, to give the wine a pale pink color while preserving the weight of Lagrein. It’s by no means a full-bodied wine, but compared to a bright Grenache/Cinsault rosé from Provence, this has several more layers of weight to help you sip through the frosty months. I also let the bottle sit out of the fridge for fifteen or twenty minutes before opening so the savory elements aren’t shut down by the chill. Add in some baked brie wrapped in pastry and all you need is a fireplace and flannel.