Wines and Spirits Terminology: Letter L

Lachlan Valley

Family winery in New South Wales, Australia, making a variety of red. White and fortified wines.

Lacrima (Lachryma)

Christi Red and white wines – though the white is the better known – from the volcanic slopes of Mount Vesuvius, near Naples, in Italy. The white wine is traditionally served at room temperature and not chilled. It is made from the Greca della Torre grape. The red is made from two varieties of the Aglianico grape. Pink and sparkling wines, of varying types, are also made. Local producers will tell visitors that, in 1892, it was a Lacrima Christi from the Vesuvius vineyards that won the title at a Vienna wine congress of ’best wine in the world’. The wine gets its name because of a legend that Christ. Looking down on the beautiful Bay of Naples, wept at the sins of the inhabitants.


(Pronounced ‘Pay-rah-gay’) Property making fine sweet white wine at Bommes. In the Sauternes region.


Classed 4th growth of St Estephe. It belongs to the Cruse family and has recently been much modernised, so that its wine may be seen more frequently.


The place where the grapes are trodden, in the port region – literally ‘the treading tank’. A lagar of the traditional type – now being replaced by more modern pressing methods – is a deepish walled receptacle, usually rectangular, mostly made out of granite, although the authority George Robertson says that slate is sometimes used. To ‘cut a lagar a number of men line up, after having had their legs inspected by the supervisor for cleanliness – they wash before work – and then two lines, facing each other, march across the tank, in military precision, forcing down the grapes with their feet and legs. It is a strenuous activity, even when, as the juice flows and rises in the lagar, the treaders break free from each other and dance – but always continue treading. As well as the sergeant-major-like commands of the supervisor, a band plays, the workers sing and are frequently refreshed by tots of bagaceira and cigarettes.

The scriptural statement that someone has ‘trodden the wine press all alone’ is to be borne in mind here. It would be a very great ordeal, requiring much strength and endurance, for a single person to tread out the equivalent of even a small /agar.


Distillery at Port Ellen, on the Isle of [slay (pronounced ‘Eye-la’). It was established in the 18th century, and produced quantities of illicitly distilled whisky, before being bought by the firm ofJ.L. Mackie. For legal purposes in 1835. This firm later evolved the great brand. ‘White Horse’, to which Lagavulin still contributes.


(Pronounced ‘Lah-ger’) German word for a plot or specific site in a vineyard – rather like the Burgundian climat.


Classed 3rd growth of St .Julien. Which underwent a decline from which it may now be emerging.


A wine that is made from the grape of the same name in the Trentino-Alto Adige region of north Italy. Most of it is pink.


Spanish word meaning ‘tear’ (the kind you weep), and the name of a sweet white wine from Malaga. The name refers to the circumstance that. According to the traditional methods, only the drops, free-flowing from the grapes like tears, were used for the juice to go to the fermentation vats.

La Lagune

Classed 3rd growth of the Medoc from the commune of Ludon. Which has no A.O.C.. so that the label bears the A.O.C. Haut-Medoc. Early in this century, it was called Grand La Lagune. To distinguish it from other properties of the same name. Its wines are of a special charm and enticing finesse and. Although the vineyard has undergone certain vicissitudes -including major replanting in the mid-1950s – its reputation has been maintained for quality.

Lake’s Folly

Dr Max Lake is one of the best-known names in Australian winemaking at the present, as well as being a respected wine writer. His own vineyard is in the Hunter Valley and is called Lake’s Folly. He makes red wines, using Cabernet Sauvignon and also Hermitage.

Lalande de Pomerol

A subdistrict of Pomerol producing red wines.


An unusual Italian wine from Kmilia-Romagna. Made from the grape of the same name. Most otitis dry. Although some sweet is made, but the curious thing is that it is both red and sparkling – not. however, in the way that the vins mousseux are. In spite of having a lot of froth when first poured, it is more like a petillant wine to taste. Its freshness can be very pleasing with certain rather rich dishes, especially pork (after all, the British cut the fatness with apple sauce). In its own region, it is recommended as the perfect wine for zampone (stuffed pig’s trotter) which can be served hot or cold, as the fruitiness and slight fizz balance the succulence of the zampone. Because of the silly supposition that it is somehow ‘better’ to ‘drink dry’, many people have avoided trying Lambrusco. Hearing that it is sweet; but it is usually no more so than ripe fruit is sweet. It makes a good partner to cold cuts, even when served with potato salad and any form of mayonnaise, and it can be a delightful between-timcs refreshment as well.


Wine estate on the slopes of the Paarl mountain range, in South Africa, under vines since 1692 and today run by one of the great names among many wine families at the Cape – de Villiers. It is especially reputed for its red wines.

Langhorne Creek

This region near Adelaide, Australia, was named after Alfred Langhorne, who settled there with his cattle in 1841. The soil is rich and the rainfall low, so that irrigation of the vineyards by means of the Bremer River is essential. A wide range of table and fortified wines are made.

Langoa Barton

Classed 3rd growth of St Julien and a particularly charming chateau, currently the home of the Anglo-Irish Ronald Barton, whose family have been in the Bordeaux wine business for three centuries. Langoa and Leoville-Barton are made in the same presshouse and kept in the same cellars, but there is usually a slight additional quality to the wines of Leoville-Barton. Langoa is never chateau-bottled.


Strictly speaking, this region, more fully termed ‘Languedoc-Roussillon’, is an overall name for the area that includes the wines of the Herault and adjoining regions in the south of France, in the hinterland and along the coast. Huge quantities of wine are produced, nowadays many of them becoming known as individual drinks among the vinsdepays.

Lascombes (Pronounced ‘Lass-komb’) Classed 2nd growth of Margaux, with a world-wide reputation for its rather velvety, attractively-smelling bouquet and flavour. It belonged to Alexis Lichine, with some of his various associates; but it is now the property of Charrington Vintners who have greatly improved the estate and the house, with resultant improvements in the wine as well.


Red Burgundy from the parish of Gevrey-Chambertin, making fine wines.


Region between Montreux and Lausanne in Switzerland, making good white wines. The best known is probably Dezaley.

Laville Haut Brion

One of the great white wines of the Graves region, just south of Bordeaux. It is owned b the proprietor of La Mission Haut Brion, and the wine is considered as fine as any of the white Graves, with a great style, fruitiness and crisp, dry finish.


(Pronounced ‘Lat-see-oh’) Italian wine region around Rome, producing the wines of the Castelli Romani, Apulia, the wines of Cesanese, and Est! Est!! Est!!! To English readers, it may be more familiar as Latium (the Latin name).


Wines have been made in Lebanon and Syria for many centuries, but the modern wine industry was only really established during and after the last war, first of all to satisfy the demands of French troops stationed in the country. Table wines are made of various types, and can be pleasant and interesting. They are seldom seen on export lists, except for the remarkable red, Chateau Musar, whose owner, Serge Hochar, is one of the notable wine makers of the world.


The residue or deposit left in the cask after the wine has been drawn off (see rack). Wine bottled directly off the lees, without being subjected to any treatment, can produce a slightly different style with certain wines (see surlie). When a merchant does his own bottling, he may sell off the wine that is beginning to run directly off the lees as cooking wine. Not because it is bad. But because the public tend to be suspicious of a wine that is not star bright.


Tasmanian vineyard, in the Tamar Valley, labelling its products ‘Chateau Legana’ (sic).


Term which refers to the trails that flow down the side of a wine glass after the wine has been swirled around. They indicate the viscosity of the wine and are best known as present in great sweet wines. However their presence is usually a sign of quality in any wine. Other terms for this include ‘tears’ (in French larmes); in Germany the expression ‘Gothic windows’ is occasionally used.


(Pronounced ‘Lie-ven’) Vineyard on the Mosel making fine wines typical of the region; the most famous sites are Klostergarten and Laurentiuslay.


Formerly one of the largest estates in the Medoc, created by a Bordeaux merchant in 1638 and named for a President of the Parlement of Bordeaux in the middle of the 18th century. The property was divided during the revolution.


Classed 2nd growth of St Julien, its suffix deriving from its purchase at the beginning of the 19th century by Hugh Barton and the firm of Barton and Guestier (pronounced ‘Gay-tee-ay’). At one time the vineyard was considered the least of the three Leovilles, but since 1945 its consistently high quality and charm have made it one of the most popular of all Msdocs. A very good wine to begin one’s acquaintance with claret.


(Pronounced ‘Lass-kass’) Classed 2nd growth of St Julien and the largest of the three Leovilles. The chateau’s imposing gateway, shown on its labels, is on the side of the road running through the main wine estates of the Medoc and the boundary of the vineyard is also the limit of St Julien – Latour is alongside Lascases. This accounts for the wine being somewhat more assertive and Pauillac in character than a typical St Julien. Lascases went through a phase when its wines were infrequently seen and often of only passable quality, but in recent years they have improved enormously and nowadays achieve nobility as well as charm.


(Pronounced ‘Pwah-fer-ray’) Classed 2nd growth of St Julien, which made exceptionally fine wines in the 1920s, but which in recent years has sometimes rather disappointed, although it is now beginning to show a definite revival of quality.


Red wine from the Novara Hills in Piedmont, Italy, made from the Nebbiolo grape and capable of achieving considerable quality after maturation in bottle.


Region in Spain, near Valencia, where rather ordinary wines are made today. Because of their robust, assertive character, they are used for blending and also some sweet white wine is made. In the past, the wines of this area were often used to cut with those of France. Benicarlo was the best-known wine of this type.


Family firm in the Barossa Valley of Australia, established in 1918 by the late Benno Paul Liebich. The winery, whose products are sold under the name ‘Rovalley’, deals mainly with the catering trade, supplying it with bulk wines.


(Pronounced ‘Lie-zur’ stressing ‘Lie’) Vineyard on the Mosel. The Niederberg is the best-known site, though there are others producing wines that are usually fine.

Light wines

Nothing to do with the character of the wines, this term in the U.K. Indicates wines of table wine strength – that is, not more than 14% of alcohol by volume. Heavy wine duty does not therefore have to be paid.


Italian wine producing region, extending from the hinterland of La Spezia to Ventimiglia, formerly making a wide variety and large quantity of wines. Today the red and white wines are in smaller supply, the best-known being the red of Dolceacqua and the white of Cinqueterre.


A type of vermouth made in the Graves. There are two types, red and white, but it is the dry white that is best known. It can be drunk neat or in mixes. The use of the name ‘Kina Lilet’ is seen in the south because the Ml’ sound is unattractive to Catalan customers.


Town in south-west France, where the vineyards make the well-known Blanquette de Limoux, and also a still white wine of good quality.


Whisky-based British honey liqueur.


Whisky distillery in Elgin, Morayshire, making a rather light type of straight malt. It was built in 1821.


The Lipari Islands, also known as the Aeolian Isles, off the coast of Sicily, produce a respected Maivasia sweetish white wine.

Liqueur d’or

A type of liqueur with flakes of gold in it, the most famous being made by the French firm of Gamier since 1890.

Liqueur des Moines

French liqueur made from aromatic plants and Cognac, yellow in colour.


Italian term for a type of wine that is definitely sweet and of rather high strength, though not necessarily over table wine strength, and not necessarily fortified.


Wine town at the bottom of the Rhone Valley in France, where good white, red and rose wines are produced.


This distillery at Bowling. Dumbarton is very old – whisky was possibly made there in the 14th century. Most of its produce today goes for blending, but there is a single malt sometimes available.

Live Oaks

Winery in Santa Clara Valley. California.

Livermore Valley

This area in California is the home of some of the most important wineries of this region.


Meaning winestore, from the Portuguese word loja. The word refers in particular to the stores of the port shippers in Vila Nova de Gaia in north Portugal, or to any winestore in this region that is above ground – differentiating it from a cellar which is below ground. The term is also used for the winestores of Madeira.


Region in the north of the San Joaquin Valley in California, including many wineries.


(Pronounced ‘Log-rohn-yo’ stressing ‘rohn’) Centre of the Rioja wine region on the River Ebro in Spain.


Important wine region in north Italy, including the wines around Lake Garda such as Lugana, also the Valtelline and Franciacorta wines.


This whisky distillery, at Montrose in Scotland, is owned by the mighty Hiram Walker establishment.


This distillery at Longmorn, Elgin, Morayshire, in Scotland was built in 1894. Its whisky is highly reputed.


In the early part of the 19th century, Nicholas Longworth founded a wine industry at Cincinnati, in the U.S. This was so successful that the state of Ohio produced twice as much wine as California until the vines were virtually totally destroyed by various diseases in the 1860s. Today attempts are being made, with some success, to revive the wine business in this area.


Wines have been made in the region of eastern France since early times, but today they are seldom seen outside their own area. The best known are possibly the vingris made around Toul.


Region on the north bank of the River Garonne, in the Gironde region, which makes sweetish white wines, which in some people’s opinion, are rather like small-scale Barsacs.

Low wines

Expression used for the first distillation of Scotch (see whisky) and nothing to do with wine.


In the Murray River valley, Australia, this co-operative was set up in 1949. It produces both wines and brandy.


Parish in the Medoc of which the famous classed growth is La Lagune.


These white wines come from a region in Lombardy, Italy, just south of the picturesque town of Sirmione. The Lugana wines are white, made from the Trebbiano grape, and possess an agreeable fragrance and smooth, flowing style, with sufficient weight to serve as accompaniments to many dishes.


Region near Montpellier, in the south of France, where Muscat wines are made of various types.

Lutomer, Ljutomer

White wine from the Lutomer-Ormuz district of Yugoslavia. Different grapes may be used, but the wines made from the varieties of Riesling grapes usually have this added to their names on the label for export markets.


These wines are pleasant and several export markets have learned to appreciate them but, although the vineyards often border the Mosel, they have little in common with the German wines or any others from France. All are white, light in style and grapes such as the Riesling, Traminer, Sylvaner and others are used. The Luxembourgpitillant wine, Edelperl, has achieved a modest success in the U.K. It is slightly gasified by the addition of carbon dioxide. Compared with the wines of Germany or Alsace, these wines seem lightweight and even thin; but they can be pleasant drinks on the spot.


(Pronounced ‘Lainch-Baahj’) Classed 5th growth of Pauillac, this property gets its name from having once belonged to an Irishman called Lynch, who was Mayor of Bordeaux. Today it belongs to the Cazes family. The wines are usually very big and of a most definite, almost rich, character. They are so individual that they are either liked very much or not at all. Lovers of other, more elegant, delicate clarets tend to find Lynch-Bages not to their taste, as it is extremely assertive.


Classed 5th growth of Pauillac, getting its name from an Irishman (see Lynch-Bages). The wine is sold today mainly in Belgium and Holland.


Winery recently established in the Napa Valley, California.

The loving-cup – or, sometimes, cups – pass round the whole company of diners, are then returned to the original cup-bearer, and the covers (if any) are put on and the cups returned to their place. The sort of wine used varies, but is usually the type of dessert or fortified wine that might be served at the end of this sort of meal. Except for the three persons who stand while involved with the passing of the cup, the company remain seated.

16. December 2011 by admin
Categories: Spirits, Uncategorized, Wine, Wine Dictionary | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Wines and Spirits Terminology: Letter L


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