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Flat front label of wine

Barone Fini Merlot 2009

Merlot from Italy
  • WS87
0% ABV
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Flavors of rich, ripe cherries and plums are enriched by the smooth, deep, well-structured background. A beautifully balanced wine with a long, velvety finish.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 87
Wine Spectator
This clean, fleshy Merlot shows a base of smoke and spice, with accents of raspberry preserves, plum, violet and linzer torte.
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Barone Fini

Barone Fini

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Barone Fini, Italy
Winemaking has consistently been part of our family business for at least six centuries and was officially recorded by the administration of the Republic of Venice on October 24, 1479 when we were given duty free privileges.

Today, we take a modern approach to winemaking with two primary objectives: first, producing quality, approachable wines, and second, keeping our family-owned and operated business market-nimble, involving all of the members of our immediate family.

Our wines are entirely grown and produced in the Trentino-Alto Adige area to our winemaking specifications, where for decades our long-standing relationships and knowledge of the area gives us access to the best grapes grown from the vineyards we choose. We have only produced D.O.C. wines, proving that our wines meet the highest standards from year to year. For generations Barone Fini wines have been produced with the minimal aid of human interference. Our family has always believed that maintaining the natural balance of the plant and making our wine with the least human intervention only makes sense. The Fini family’s strong cultural history has always promoted culvitation techniques that minimize environmental impact. We guarantee we will continue to pursue our natural ways for generations to come.

Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture that is virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes are grown just about everywhere throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. The defining geographical feature of the country is the Apennine Mountain range, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south. The island of Sicily nearly grazes the toe of Italy’s boot, while Sardinia lies to the country’s west. Climate varies significantly throughout the country, with temperature being somewhat more dependent on elevation than latitude, though it is safe to generalize that the south is warmer. Much of the highest quality viticulture takes place on gently rolling, picturesque hillsides.

Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but their use is declining in popularity, especially as younger growers begun to take interest in rediscovering forgotten local specialties. Sangiovese is the most widely planted variety in the country, reaching its greatest potential in parts of Tuscany. Nebbiolo is the prized grape of Piedmont in the northwest, producing singular, complex and age-worthy wines. Other important varieties include Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola, and of course, Pinot Grigio.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

SOU17236_2009 Item# 112218