Rosso dei Ronchi 2019
DOC Ticino, Cantina Monti, 750 ml
Sparkling ruby colour with brilliant purple hue. Fresh touches of blackcurrant, green pepper and vanilla on the nose. Silky palate with good concentration and a nice balance. The tannins are ripe with perfectly integrated oak. Clean flavour profile with intense fresh fruit alongside smoky oak notes. A big, beautiful finish with noble and complex aromas.
|Origin:||Switzerland / Tessin / Sottoceneri|
|Grape variety:||Merlot, Diolinoir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carminoir|
|Ripening potential:||5 to 10 years|
|Serving temperature:||16 to 18 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Brasato di manzo al Barolo, Châteaubriand, Filet Wellington, Rabbit ragout with olives, Saddle of lamb fillet with herb jus, Roast saddle of venison, Spicy hard cheese|
|Vinification:||long must fermentation, fermentation in steel tank, fining|
|Maturation:||in large wooden barrel/foudre, long cultivation|
|Maturation duration:||16 months|
Forefather of the Bordeaux varieties
The Cabernet Franc is one of the oldest varieties of Bordelais and a parent of three other red grapes in the Bordeaux assortment: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère. It is distinguished by its complex, flavourful bouquet of raspberry, graphite, violet, liquorice and white pepper. In addition, it presents round, crisp tannins which turn out less strongly than those of Cabernet Sauvignon. While the Cabernet Franc always appears as part of a blend in Bordeaux, it is pressed alone on the Loire. The most renowned appellations are Chinon and Bourgueil. Incidentally, the Cabernet originates not in Bordeaux but in the Spanish Basque Country. Cabernet owes its name to the Latin “carbon”, meaning black.
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.
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.
Many new varieties are initially underestimated. So it proved with Diolinoir, a cross between Pinot noir and an old French grape by the name of Robin noir. The latter was found in the 1920s in a vine collection in Diolly, in Valais. As it was not known where it had been cultivated, the red immigrants were simply called Rouge de Diolly. When it was crossed in 1970, the name Diolinor came from “Diolly” and “noir”. Not much was expected of these grapes: they were only grown to lend a hand colour-wise to other Swiss varieties. In recent years, however, vintners have discovered that they are capable of much more. When produced in wooden casks, they mature into well-grounded wines with aromas of blackberries and black cherries, as well as solid, round tannins. Definitely try Diolinoir with lamb.
The lovely breed from the Zürichsee
The Carminoir variety was created at the Swiss Federal agricultural research institute Agroscope in Wädenswil.
Its mother is the Pinot Noir variety; the father, Cabernet Sauvignon. Like its father, Carminoir is late-maturing, and thus suits only the best locations. In return, the grape – much like its mother – can be very productive. It seems most comfortable in Valais and Ticino. The blue-black grapes can be pressed into color-rich, powerful, and tannic wines, with very complex aromas.
This still nascent vine is one of the few varieties which has no synonym
Ticino: the Merlot Mecca of Switzerland
Ticino winegrowing is thought to date from Roman times, as early as 2000 years ago. But the foundation for today’s viticulture was laid just over 100 years ago, in 1907. It was then that the first Merlot vines were planted at Castelrotto in Malcantone. Since then, the variety has emerged triumphant here. Top selections matured in barriques more than measure up to those from Bordeaux’s Saint-Émilion or Pomerol regions.
Switzerland – A small country with enormous diversity
Switzerland is famous for its banks, watches, and cheese, but not necessarily for its wine. The Swiss didn't invent wine, but they have been extremely open and curious to it. Wine culture arrived in what is now modern Switzerland via several routes: from Marseilles to Lake Geneva and the Lower Valais region; from the Aosta Valley through the Great St. Bernard Pass to the rest of Valais; from the Rhone through Burgundy, across the Jura Mountains to Lake Constance; and from Lombardy to Ticino, and then on to Grisons.