2008 Convento Muri-Gries Lagrein Scuro/Dunkel
The ancient monastery of Muri-Gries, located just south of the Bremmer Pass in Süd Tyrol is the source for a bevy of clean, complex and classy wines made from the traditional grapes of this beautiful region. Muri-Gries remains a working Benedictine monastery, which was originally built in the late eleventh century as a fortress. In the fourteenth century, the fortress was donated to a local group of monks and converted into a monastery. Lagrein is a traditional local variety of the Süd Tyrol (a cousin of Syrah), which produces a deep and complex wine that is at once both broad-shouldered and elegant. This is the workhorse red varietal of the monastery, and in the hands of the estate's current winemaker, Christian Werth, this beautiful varietal is beginning to gain an international following for its compelling character and impressive complexity. These Lagrein vineyards are meticulously taken care of by hand, with most of the vineyard work still done by the monks of the order. This 2007 is a very classy red wine that offers up a unique aromatic mélange of black cherries and dark berries, as well as chocolate, fresh herb tones, earth and at times a slightly resinous topnote that adds an additional layer of complexity. On the palate it is a full-bodied, deep wine that is surprisingly supple and voluptuous, with modest, well-integrated tannins and lovely framing acids that add succulence and focus in the mouth.