Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon
IGT, Paladin, 2018
|Origin:||Italien / Venezien|
|Grape variety:||Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon|
|Serving temperature:||16 to 18 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Apéro pastries, Cold fish dish, dried meat, Spaghetti carbonara, Orecchiette, Strozzapreti alla siciliana, Spaghetti con sugo al basilico, Pizza or Flammkuchen|
|Vinification:||fermentation in steel tank, cooling period|
|Maturation:||in large wooden barrel/foudre, some months bottle storage before sale|
|Maturation duration:||6 months|
Italy – Where wine is a way of life
The Italian wine regions are extremely diverse, and this is made clear in their wines. Established varieties such as Merlot, Syrah, and Sauvignon can be found on just 15 percent of the total vine growing area. The remaining 85 percent is reserved for autochthonous, indigenous varieties. More than 2,000 different grape varieties are grown under diverse conditions and pressed with various techniques into wines that reach the top tier of the international wine market.
Veneto: land of the Amarone and Prosecco
Veneto stretches from the Alpine foothills, through the flat Po Valley, to the Gulf of Venice on the Adriatic coast. Two types of wine in particular have been able to celebrate spectacular successes here in recent years: Amarone growths impress with their opulent body and force, while the cheerfully bubbling Proseccos please with their fruity, grape freshness. But the region also produces drinkable everyday wines, including the white Soave and the red Bardolino.
The vineyards of the Paladin winery are located in the border area between the Eastern Veneto and Friuli, where wine was already being grown in Roman times. At that time, the wines of this area were shipped in amphorae from the nearby sea ports to Rome, as reported by the historian Pliny.
The company was founded 50 years ago by Valentino Paladin, and today is jointly managed by his three children: Lucia, Carlo and Roberto.
The calcareous clay soils were formed about 20,000 years ago, after the last ice age. At a depth of 50 to 100 centimetres, one runs into limestone, the so-called Caranto, which gives the wines their body, richness and flavour intensity. The region has a rather mild climate. To the north, the Dolomites and the Alps provide protection from the cold; to the south-east, the Adriatic has a moderating influence.
Merlot is the most charming member of the Bordeaux family. It shines with rich colour, fragrant fullness, velvety tannins and sweet, plummy fruit. It even makes itself easy for the vintner, as it matures without issue in cool years as well. This is in contrast to the stricter Cabernet Sauvignon, which it complements as a blending partner. Its good qualities have made the Merlot famous worldwide. At over 100,000 hectares, it is the most-planted grape in France. It also covers large areas in California, Italy, Australia and recently in Eastern Europe. The only catch is that pure Merlot varieties rarely turn out well. Its charm is often associated with a lack of substance. Only the best specimens improve with maturity. They then develop complex notes of leather and truffles. This succeeds in the top wines from the Bordeaux appellation of Pomerol and those from Ticino, among others.
The backbone of Bordeaux
The Cabernet Sauvignon gives the Bordeaux its backbone, yielding deep violet wines with powerful tannins and endless ripening potential. It is the top dog in Médoc, and is placed in all five premier crus of Bordelais. When young, it often appears strict and unapproachable, but with advancing years, its tannins round off. It is wonderfully velvety, and yet always maintains its freshness. Typical flavours include cassis, graphite and cedar. Wherever Cabernet Sauvignon is found, Merlot is not far away. It complements the robust structure of Cabernet with softness, fruit and richness. The Cabernet Sauvignon is the most-exported vine in the world. It delivers persuasive qualities in Italy as an ingredient of the Super Tuscan, or as the flagship variety from California. There, it is lovingly titled “Cab Sauv”. Meat fans should be aware that it fantastically accompanies a grilled entrecôte. The family tree of Cabernet Sauvignon is surprising: its parents are Cabernet Franc and the white Sauvignon blanc.