Archive for the ‘Merlot’ category

Cellers Fuentes Priorat Finca El Puig 2002

January 9, 2009

img_52361The revival of Priorat is repeatedly embodied in wineries as Cellers Fuentes: founded in the ’90s, backed by foreign capital, lead by the passion of a young winemaker playing around with mouthwatering old-vine material. This approach has clearly paid off, with the Gran Clos and Finca El Puig having conquered their place between some of the region’s greatest wines as L’Ermita and Clos Mogador. The 2002 El Puig is a blend of 45% Garnacha, 23% Cariñena, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 2% Syrah, aged between 12 and 16 months in predominantly French oak. Deep crimson in the glass the nose unveils its origins straight away, with an amalgam of  fragrant berry fruit, herbs, liquorice and hints of leafs and leather, following through to a full-bodied palate with ripe fruit, some earthiness and ample minerality adding freshness and balance. This wine actually showed much better the day after opening, proving the point that most big and bold Priorats deserve serious decanting. 90 points

Source: Vintage Cellars  Price: $50  Drink: Now-2011



Ca’Marcanda Promis 2004

July 8, 2008

The coastal Bolgheri is one of Italy’s youngest DOC’s. Home to the renowned Ornellaia and Sassicaia, it’s a fast evolving region too with numerous producers following the same path as the Antinori’s. This is understandable regarding the high prices those Super Tuscans have been fetching since the mid-90’s, the possibility of making cutting edge wines out of popular international varieties and the abundance of sunshine ensuring flavours and tannins to ripen fully and relatively easy. Angelo Gaja’s Ca’Marcanda is one of the new kids on the block, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot as main varieties planted in its vineyards. But as with most of its Piedmontese cousins the wines are voluntarily made as IGT’s, enabling cross-regional blending and the use of other varieties than permitted by the DOC regulations. The entry-level Promis fits exactly in this mould with 55% Merlot, 35% Shiraz – both from the Bolgheri estate – and 10% Sangiovese from Montalcino. This deep purple wine shows an attractive nose with loads of ripe red berries and seductive vanillan oak. Soft grainy tannins, generous fruit and balanced acid on a medium weight palate testify of skillful winemaking. Unfortunatly the absence of a defined sense of place makes this wine nothing really more than a well made, easy drinking Italian wine. 88 points.

 Source: Negociants Austrialia  Price: $50  Drink: Now-2010

Gaja Sito Moresco 2004

December 7, 2007

img_3773.jpgAs I’m really into the Piedmontese wines at the moment I couldn’t resist this entry-level wine from the master himself. In more than one way Angelo Gaja has shocked, surprised and conquered colleagues, critics and consumers alike. Although often marked as a modernist insurgent, Gaja stayed above the fray between the modernist movement Langa In with notable members as Elio Altare, Enrico Scavino, Claudio Coterno, Guido Fantino and Domenico Clerico and their traditionalist counterparts including Giacomo Coterno, Giuseppe Rinaldi and Bartolo Mascarello. But it was Gaja who acted as a mentor for a lot of new winemakers with the vinification and bottling of single-vineyard crus and the use of small barriques instead of large botti. In 1996 he opted out of the DOCG regulations with the decision to blend a proportion of Barbera into his Barbaresco’s, a move not dissimilar to Supertuscan producers in the ’70s. With the Sito Moresco he goes even further by complementing Nebbiolo (35%) with Merlot (35%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), a provoking blend that makes Langhe meet Bordeaux. Red ruby in the glass the wine shows aromas of ripe blackberry, cassis and mint with the more subtle Nebbiolo adding spice, tobacco and leather. The dark berries follow onto a smooth and silky palate that bears the weight of the fruit surprisingly well with balanced acidity leading to a long and dry finish. This blend might be miles away from home but it retains an unmistakable Italian crowd pleaser. 90 points

Source: Negociants Australia  Price: $69  Drink: Now-2012