Italian Merlot month begins right here, right now. Italian Merlot is a hugely vast and exciting world with some excellent Merlots coming out of the Friuli and Tuscan regions. There are a handful of world famous Italian Merlots that I'm going to be trying this month, as well as some more obscure and culty wines. I went right to the top to get the finest recommendations for you guys with no less than Antonio Galloni, the Italian reviewer for Robert Parker, giving me a few choice recommendations.
So which Merlots am I going to bring out for Merlot month? I've had over 45 suggestions which gives you a good idea of the quality of Italian Merlot, none of these were blends all pure Merlot. From these suggestions I have whittled it down to 10 bottles that I hope represent a good cross section of Italian Merlots through the price points. Ok, yes, perhaps the tiny production Roberto Voerzio merlot was a touch self indulgent but this was a Galloni recommendation, I can hardly disagree with the good man now can I? For fun, and also because this seems to be how I'm rolling these days, I'm going to stick a Pomerol into the mix and pray it doesn't come out top! :o)
Firstly, I'll be taking "Messorio" from Le Macchiole and "Redigaffi" by Tua Rita for a spin. These are among Italy's most famous wines period and swap "best Merlot in Italy" yearly according to Parker ratings anyway. These are my top end Italian Merlots.
Secondly, I'm going to take a look at Merlot produced outside of the traditional quality zones, so outside of Friuli and Tuscany adding Roberto Voerzio's Merlot from the Piedmont, Feudi di San Gregorio's "Patrimio" from Campania and, another famous name, "Montiano" by Falesco from Lazio.
Lastly, I'm going to see if I can find some bargains with Antonio's recommendations, the Radikon "Merlot", Vie di Romans "Voos Dai Ciamps" as well as some other kind recommendations, the Villa Russiz "Merlot Graf de La Tour", Avignonesi, "Desiderio" and finally, Livon's "Tiare Mate". I am very excited about the Vie di Romans wine, not particularly expensive for a 93 point score from Galloni.
So these are the wines I'll be trying and I'm really delighted at all the suggestions I've received and even the negative criticism that I should lay off the international varietals and concentrate on Italy's home team grapes. Well, I am interested in all wines produced within Italy so will continue to cast the net wide. I think it is interesting to compare Italy's success within international varietals compared to other countries, I want to be part of the big push on Italian wine and yes, I am playing fast and loose with the word "interesting"! :op
Question of the Day
Have you tried any of these wines, what did you think?