Merlot is not a wine that readily comes to mind when discussing Italian wines. In a country populated with hundreds of different indigenous wine varieties and numerous attention-getting and popular wines such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello and Chianti Classico, to name a few, Italian Merlot doesn’t rise to the level of wide popular recognition.
So today we are going to talk about Merlot, Barone Fini Merlot.
Giovanni Bonmartini-Fini is descended from Italian royalty—he is actually a count—and he is the
de facto head of Barone Fini, where wine making has consistently been part of the family business
for at least six centuries (it was officially recorded by the administration of the Republic of Venice
on October 24, 1479 when the family was given duty free privileges).
Today, the ultra-modern winery has two primary objectives: first, producing quality, approachable
wines, and second, keeping the family-owned and operated business market-nimble, involving all
of family members.
According to Bonmartini-Fini, this Merlot is purposely made to be medium-bodied, without
harsh tannins or high alcohol content to make it more easily drinkable.
He's right, this is truly a gulpable Merlot. The wine is unoaked and displays the classic fragrances and flavors of the varietal: plums, blackberries, blueberries and prunes make up the dark fruit nose and those aromas deliver flavor on the palate.
The first sip of this clean and bracing wine offers hints of good things to come: rich, ripe cherries,
plums, cassis and a smooth, velvety finish that brings chocolatey cherry notes to the fore. This is a stylish red, with graphite and aromatic herb notes, appealing ripe fruit profile and overall elegance.
It is beautifully balanced with the smooth, ripe tannins framing a vanilla and spice-tinged long, velvety finish.
It will pair well with rich and spicy foods such as Mexican dishes and Indian cocoanut curries. This wine will please both the Merlot and non-Merlot drinker and, at this price, it’s a steal!
You can find this wine at Circus Wines/Spirits Unlimited, 835 State Highway 35, Middletown, NJ 07748.
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