Expensive wine 98: Allegrini La Grola 2012

Allegrini La GrolaThe Allegrini La Grola is an Italian red wine that resonates of terroir

One day, the Wine Curmudgeon will understand why the Italians feel the need to make wine in the style of other countries. Because wines like the Allegrini La Grola show what a fine job they do when they stick to Italy.

The Allegrini La Grola ($35, sample, 13.9%) is Valpolicella – the cheap wine of so many Baby Boomer youths – taken to a level that most Boomers never thought about. It’s made mostly with the corvina grape, which can be soft and boring, the kind of wine you buy because it’s cheap and easy to drink. The La Grola, though, is less fruity – leaner and sharper and has more character as befitting its price and the effort that went into making it. Look for sour cherries, an almost almond and licorice flavor, and dry tannins.

This Allegrini La Grola should age for another eight or 10 years, but is ready to drink now. Pair it with a more formal Mother’s Day brunch, particularly lamb — or, for the adventurous, roast salmon.

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