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An Italian Hillbilly on OE in Marlborough, this lively Red Italian is serious by nature but also eager to please. Native to the mountainous regions of Northern Italy, there is estimated to be less than 1,000 hectares of Lagrein planted worldwide, of which 650 plus are in Italy. A stranger to many, the Lagrein grape is actually a cousin of Syrah and grandchild to Pinot Noir. Dense ruby in colour, it displays bright Damson plum, black cherry and wild bramble characters. A juicy, round mid-palate is densely packed with fresh boysenberry flavours, licorice and bitter dark chocolate. Hints of tobacco, vanilla and a mineral edge dance around firm acidity and pronounced tannins. Full bodied, but not heavy, Lagrein delivers straight-up, fruit-forward pleasure underneath it’s dark, tough exterior. Try it slightly chilled.