I commented a couple days ago about merlot-haters, but one thing I failed to mention is that these consumers may just misunderstand merlot. They may have just tasted the wrong merlot. One of the things I like about merlot is that it can have a number of different personalities. It’s grown all over the world, and when you have different merlot clones from different regions, made into wine using different techniques it can result in a wide range of styles.
Tonight I’m highlighting a merlot from the Umbria region in Italy. While some other Italian regions, like Chianti and Piedmont, get a lot of fanfare they also can come with some sticker shock. Lesser known regions, like Umbria, can offer some equally tasty wines at much more appealing prices.
Umbria is located just east of Tuscany and it’s the only Italian wine region that doesn’t border either the sea or another country. Falesco, the producer of this wine, is one of the largest in the Orvieto DOC. This particular wine, however is labeled as an IGT, being from this part of the Umbria region, but not meeting specifications of the Orvieto DOC. It is, however, a reasonably-priced and very tasty wine. And stylistically this wine screams “Italian” with it’s vibrant acidity and good tannin structure — clearly showing a unique expression of merlot from this region.
The nose is elegant and spicy, offering aromas like black currant, blackberry, black pepper and cedar. The palate is perfectly balanced with spiced blackberry, cherry and raspberry flavors. Crisp acidity makes it lively and moderate tannins give it a nice mouthfeel. It finishes with blackberry and black tea flavors that stay with you.
This is a fantastic wine.
Find Falesco Merlot with Snooth
Disclosure: This wine was received as a media sample.