VINUM-Hotel - June Wine Letter - Merlot

the underrated South Tyrolean deep dark red wine with Alpine spice
At international rare wine tastings, one is repeatedly amazed by the heady, elegant and creamy fruitiness of the best South Tyrolean Merlots - as well as by the fact that this exquisite, full-bodied red wine is often underrated. The Bordeaux area is generally accepted as the home of Merlot, where this grape variety has been known since the 17th century and has become widespread since the 18th century. Its name originates from the bird that most closely depicts this early-ripening variety: "Merlot" is the Bordelais term for "little blackbird". Whether naming Merlot was poetical (the similarity of the grapes with the blue-black feathers of the blackbird) or more down-to-earth (peasant curses damning these feathered grape thieves), cannot really be determined. This pertains to legends, anecdotes and stories of the wine.
With enthusiasm, confidence and conviction, VINUM Hotels Südtirol show their guests how much class and potential our Merlots contain. The sun-drenched South Tyrolean slopes produce complex, subtle Merlots, which have long been considered by wine connoisseurs to represent the best varietal in Italy. This undoubtedly includes the "Brenntal" Merlot from Kurtatsch Winery - it overwhelms the senses with gentle strength, good concentration and an array of aromatic density: thus, presenting what the truffle pig would find in the forest floor, along with plenty of wild berries, chocolate, tobacco and freshly roasted coffee beans. One can also enjoy the slightly more delicate "Huberfeld" Merlot from St. Pauls Winery. It has less weighty opulence, but enthuses mineral freshness. The wonderfulness of this Merlot originates in the vineyard, explain Polt Kager (chairman) and Wolfgang Tratter (cellarman) in unison. Huberfeld with its loamy, well-drained soil is an excellent South Tyrolean location for Merlot.
Great wine potential lies dormant in the heavy reds, in the deep dark red wines that come from the area of Siebeneich and Terlan - good examples include Cabernets and Lagreins from Kornellhof of Florian Brigl. Above all, Merlot adorns the "Kornellhof" reds: compact, amply fruity, elegant with much mineral bounce, powerful tannins.
Florian Brigl and his talented cellarman Marco dreamed of bottling a South Tyrolean super-Merlot, effectively a South Tyrolean Pomerol, this dream was realized with the 2013 "Vigna Kressfeld" (even if only for 1200 bottles…). Yes, South Tyrol has great Merlot potential. South Tyrolean "bonne bouche" reds have a good standing, even the 2003 vintage which experienced an equatorial African summer, caused bewilderment at international comparative tastings - the tannic-spicy, fruity St. Valentin Merlot from St. Michael Winery was astonishingly fresh and elegant after ten years of storage.
More outstanding South Tyrolean Merlots offered in all VINUM Hotels Südtirol include: "Gant" from Terlan Winery, Merlot "MMXV" from Lageder, "Spitz", Griesbauerhof, "Mühlweg", Niedrist, "Siebeneich", Bolzano Winery and "Levad", Nals-Margreid/Entiklar Winery.
The VINUM-Hotel - July Wine Letter:

"Wine and what it boils down to" - Do school grades help us drink wine?
One can say that a wine has 15 out of 20 points. Or that it shows a Madonna-like character. Is this good or not good? Does evaluating a wine help us drink it? With patience, empathy and conviction VINUM Hotels Südtirol have a few tips for their guests on how to evaluate a wine. But in case we forget the evaluation form? Dash it all, let’s just chat about a good glass of wine!