Marco Donati ‘Fratte Alte’ Lagrein * Mezzocorona, Trentino, Italy 2017


Dark and saturated purple color, smells like blackberry jam on warm toast next to a really fragrant fresh brew of coffee (seriously.) Ripe with blueberries and pomegranate, it goes down so easy and has a real warming effect. Is it ok that I want a team of St. Bernards, with those mini barrels around their necks filled with this wine, to explore about the Dolomites? Although I’ve certainly had more ‘complex’ examples of Lagrein than this, I can honestly say that I tend to find more beauty in this more approachable expression of the grape. I also love the way it finishes super bright, plumy and with a nice touch of peppercorns and violets.

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Marco Donati ‘Fratte Alte’
Mezzocorona, Trentino 2017


In 1526 there was a revolt led by local farmers against the nobles and the church in order to expand their rights and to, most importantly, be allowed to drink Lagrein. Gotta love it. Lagrein is a clear exception to native alpine red wines typically leaning more towards lighter body and paler coloring. It is a grape that loves as much sunshine as possible and although that sounds like it is perhaps in the wrong place, Lagrein is clearly at home in the mountains and tends to get finicky when grown elsewhere. Truly, a grape variety with a fighting spirit.  

Marco Donati is a fifth generation grower and producer in this part of Trentino. As mentioned, single family estates such as this are an unfortunate rarity today, so it is important to them that they remain consistent to their identity as such. This current generation has transformed to organic practices, not for the certification but simply because Marco recognized that it was necessary in order to maintain the health of the vines and the biodiversity of everything else in the surrounding property. And, of course, to pass on the best possible legacy to his daughter, Elisabetta.