Ticino Merlot - Fantastic!
About this vintage
- Merlot 100%
- 13.2 %
- Last tasted
- Keep until
- Bottle Size
More about this wine
- How to serve it
- 18°C. Best if opened and decanted at least an hour before serving.
- Food matches
- A good companion for game, poultry, red meats and fine cheeses.
A great example of a Merlot from southern Ticino. This wine is made from grapes grown in Sottoceneri. Rigorous selection and yields limited to 60hl/hectare ensure quality. Having sold out of the 2003 and 2005, we still have the 2012.
Ben on the 2003:
I love to find and try wines that are past the date when most people will have run out long ago. Winemakers tell us that wine will last for x years if cellared correctly but few of us manage to maintain the willpower to leave bottles maturing until the latter end of the recommended time. (I once managed to help drink a Rothschild Pauillac 1998 about 35 years too early. Not my fault or my bottle!)
This elegant Merlot will have been drunk a great deal between 2006 and 2010 and will have been a beautifully robust and fruit-driven wine with balanced tannins and acidity. Now, in 2014, it is the mature, grown-up version of that wine. The balance has slipped a little – the tannins attack fast before settling down and the wine seems much hotter than its 13.2% - but it remains a beautiful wine.
The colour is solidly deep and dark with a splendidly brown rim, promising all those secondary and tertiary aromas and flavours. The original blackberry and mulberry notes have all but disappeared, leaving a rich nose laden with spice and old leather, hints of tobacco and treacly rich vanilla toffee. It is a wine that gives immense pleasure before even a sip has been taken.
On the palate, the tannins grip and then gently release leaving a soft, silky texture with a variety of spices. What was once full-bodied has matured into a fractionally lighter feel which makes it even more palatable. There is a modicum of acidity which sets the mouth watering. The wine is gorgeous on its own, despite or because of its small faults, but with red meat this will be astonishing.
The wine was decanted on the evening prior to my tasting. Make sure you decant a good couple of hours before tasting. Apart from allowing the wine to open up to its full potential, there may be a small deposit as the wines are bottled unfiltered after 15 months in French oak. I would suggest that it has another two years of excellent drinking remaining and these may be the last bottles left anywhere. Buy now and drink now!
The grapes are carefully selected and vinified in the traditional Bordelaise method with a long maceration of 12–19 days at 28–32°C. Once fermentation is complete the wine is matured for over 14 months in barriques of French oak. Frequent racking from the lees allows for bottling without fining, filtration or other physical stabilization. This may result in a slight sediment in the bottle.
Colour: Intense and deep ruby red.
Bouquet: Complex and intense. Fruity notes of plum and black cherry with hints of torrefaction and liquorice. Delicate nuances of spices.
Palate: Smooth and elegant. Fresh and fruity, well-bodied with a good structure and tannins of perfect quality and strength. Well balanced, harmonious and a persistent finish.