Merlot gets even less of a write up.
So it's a brave man who buys me a bottle of Italian Merlot.
The Corte Figaretto "La More" Merlot from the Veneto region of northeastern Italy is no supermarket wine, though you could purchase it online from Uvinum if you so wished. This one has a bit "La More" of a story...
Corte Figaretto is a family-run vineyard in the heart of Valpantena, a valley situated north of Verona. South facing vines and a Mediterranean climate, combined with the passion of the family, make for quality reds.
I wasn't sure what to expect. Sometimes wine labels exagerate. And for me, red fruit flavours can often be too tart.
My first impression was of the texture. Very soft and smooth, rounded tannin with a very non-tart level of acid on the tongue. The fruit is red, but it's not the Sangiovese cherry red. Instead, it's dark red plum, super ripe. I'm not going to say i found violet, though I did go looking for it.
There is some kind of light floral note and as well as vanilla, the oak has imparted a very delicate note of sweet nutmeg. Despite the rather huge 15% alcohol level, it didn't feel hot or out of balance, though I did flush up like a beetroot after a few sips. Some would say that's the sulphite, others would just blame my age!
All in all, it's a rather pleasing drop, as befits it's story.
Lovely Roger brought this to my "off the beaten track" tasting at Southport last month. He'd visited a barber in the town before our dance event started and found what appears to have been an illicit drinking den. Wine bottles on the walls and samples on offer, I hope it was a licensed premises!
In any case, this was a really nice Thirsty Thursday wine. After 3 days on the road with work, staying in soulless business hotels where a glass of rather ordinary wine would set you back over £8, this was lovely to come home to.
There was a glass or so left on Friday night. I know! Most unlike me... Flavours remained pleasing, even by Friday night standards.
I'd be happy to buy it again were it somewhat more easily available.
And for those who've scoffed at Merlot since the movie Sideways, try a good one again sometime soon. You'll probably enjoy it. And if you're ever looking for a haircut and wine experience in Southport.... http://www.barbersparlour.co.uk/