GRAPES / a great wine of French origin produced from Merlot grapes, grown in the Friuli region since the nineteenth century.
POSITION / the hills of the Sottomonte Estate in the municipality of Buttrio (Udine), with their fantastic landscape, provide an ideal wine country for excellent wine making. The C. D.O (controlled denomination of origin) area is the Friuli Colli Orientali (Eastern Hills of Friuli). Exposure is south.
TERRAIN / hill and foothill area, soil composed of marl and sandstone with a predominantly clayey component.
TRAINING SYSTEM / double bending canes (called cappuccina). A traditional training technique in Friuli, optimised by our winery’s methods for quality production using reduced vine vigour and a lower number of buds.
PHYTOSANITARY CROP PROTECTION / low environmental impact focussing on traditional products with a short persistence, distributed according to the agroalimentary programme for crop protection.
HARVESTING / manual with a qualified, suitably trained workforce from the second week in October with selection of the best grapes in the field and fast transfer to the cellar.
VINIFICATION METHOD / red wine fermentation with prolonged maceration of the must and skins in modern steel wine makers at a controlled temperature (26 °C) to obtain a well structured wine. This is followed by pressing and, first completion of alcoholic fermentation and then malolactic fermentation in wooden casks.
MATURATION IN AGEING / in oak casks for at least twelve months. Ageing continues after bottling in the sixteenth century underground estate cellar for about six months prior to labelling.
SENSORY CHARACTERISTICS / intense ruby red colour and fine and full bouquet resembling ripe red berries aromas with subtle hints of cherry, plum and wild blackberries. On the palate, the wine bursts with fruit, with strong tannins softened by the oak barrel ageing that gives the wine character and body but preserving its subtlety and balance. Very harmonious with a pleasant and long-lasting aftertaste.
FOOD AND WINE PAIRINGS / this wine pairs exceptionally with boiled meat, stewed poultry and rabbit dishes. Superb with roasted and grilled meats and hard aged cheeses.
LONGEVITY / excellent straight away but, as is characteristic of preserved Merlot, slow and steady development allows the wine to easily exceed six years in the bottle.
SERVICE / Merlot is best when the bottle is brought to room temperature (18 °C) before decanting. Let it “breathe” for a few minutes before serving.