"This Merlot which feels particularly at home on warm south-facing slopes with deep, loamy soils, is a complex, full-bodied red wine of great finesse."
- Doc denomination: Alto Adige
- Variety: 100% Merlot
- History of the variety: first vintage 1989
- Year: 2014
- Bottles produced: 25,000
- Yield: 56 hl/ha
- Quality line: The selections
Manual harvest and selection of the grapes; destemming followed by slow must fermentation at a controlled temperature and gentle agitation of the must in stainless steel tanks; malolactic fermentation and aging for 12 months partly in big wooden barrels (70%) and partly in barriques using one third new barrels (30%); blending three
months before bottling.
- Country: Alto Adige DOC
- Provenance: Alto Adige
- Altitude: 250 - 900 m a. s. l.
- Slope: 5 - 70 %
- Orientation: South - Southwest
- Color: brilliant deep ruby red
- Smell: The primary fruit aromas of dried plum and cranberry combine with the herbal aromas of mint and eucalyptus and a hint of black pepper to create a many-faceted bouquet.
- Taste: With its sturdy tannin structure and rich fruit aromas, the Merlot can develop to the full on the palate to display great complexity with depth and length.
Goes well with shoulder of kid braised in olive oil and herbs on asparagus and wild vegetables, beef tagliata on a bed of rocket, rabbit stew or braised leg of lamb with spinach polenta; equally attractive with aubergine alla parmigiana.
2014 was an unusual viticultural year, which required a lot of time and effort of the vintners.
Due to the very mild winter the soil warmed early and subsequently on the lower sites shoots started already at the end of March. Spring too was characterized by very mild temperatures hence mid of May the first blooming inflorescences were observable. In comparison with 2013 vegetation was 2 weeks early, so that an early harvest seemed likely.
After a short dry spell during the blossoming and post-blossom season from the beginning of July onwards the weather changed completely. Also older winegrowers could not recall a summer with so many rainy days and so few hours of sunshine. Heavy and frequent precipitation impeded growth and led to a constantly high disease pressure. In several, especially early ripening vineyards, grape berries burst and were affected by rot.
The extraordinary climatic conditions remarkably slowed down vegetation and therefore the grapes matured only two weeks later than at first supposed. Harvest started on September 8th, 2014.
Thus, vintners had to keep calm and await the optimal harvest period. The harvest itself was very laborious, every grape was controlled meticulously and rotten or damaged berries had to be removed. Despite the adverse circumstances the vintners were able to deliver healthy and fully ripe grape material.
After the second harvest week, i.e. from September 20th, 2014 onwards the weather improved and with the golden fall weather the grapes on the medium-high and higher sites optimally matured.
The total quality of the vintage 2014 was thereby substantially increased.
Alto Adige is one of Italy's smallest wine-growing areas. Located as it is at the interface between the Alpine north and the Mediterranean south, it is also one of its most diverse. Countless generations have shaped Alto Adige as a land of wine, where vines grow on various types of soil and in a range of climate zones at between 200 and 1,000 meters above sea-level. It is the home of authentic wines with a character of their own, with a focus on white wines: About 60 percent of the sites are planted with white varieties and only 40 percent with red.
In addition to Pinot Grigio and Gewürztraminer, it is mainly Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc that have made Alto Adige one of Italy's leading white wine regions. In the case of the reds, the range of wines includes the autochthonous varieties Lagrein and Schiava as well as such international classics as Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet. With all their variety, 98 percent of Alto Adige's wines have a DOC classification, with an impressive share of top-class wines.
The high peaks of the main Alpine chain protect South Tyrol from the Atlantic winds and cold northerlies, while the region benefits from the Mediterranean climate from the south. That explains the pronounced differences between day- and night-time temperatures, which are the key to full maturity and elegant wines.
To the south, a number of mountain massifs like the Adamello also have a protective function. As a result, annual precipitation is only about one-third of the average for the southern Alpine foothills, and the number of hours of sunshine is higher. The climatic conditions are not unlike those to be found in wine-growing areas like the Swiss Canton Valais.
When the sun rises behind the mountains east of Terlano on one of the year’s 300 sunny days, it is already high in the sky as the wine-growing area has a westerly to southwesterly exposure. The lower atmospheric density permits more direct solar irradiation with less diffuse sunlight. That increases the difference between the slopes on the sunny and shady sides of the valley.
Microclimate in Terlano
Continental climate (Cfa Köppen-Geiger)
Annual sunshine hours: ø 2135
Maximum temperatures: 38,2 °C
Average temperatures: 12,9 °C
Minimum temperatures: -10,7°C
Annual precipitation: ø 558 mm
Average global radiation: 150,1 W/m²
- North foehn: cool and dry down-slope wind
- Ora: valley wind system from the south, bringing in air from the Po Valley
- Alcohol content: 13.5 % vol
- Residual sugar: 1.6 g/l
- Total acidity: 5.2 g/l
- Storage advice: Cool storage at constant temperatures, high level of humidity, good ventilation and as little light as possible
- Cellar temperature: 10 - 15 °C
- Minimum maturity: 4 years
- Serving temperature: 16 - 18 °C