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Castello Monaci Primitivo Piluna 2009

Primitivo from Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    The 2009 Piluna has broad, ripe black fruit and spice aromas, with notes of pepper, toasty vanilla and Mediterranean scrub. On the palate, the wine has a robust, concentrated character, a firm structure, and small black fruit and licorice notes on the aftertaste.

    Critical Acclaim

    Castello Monaci

    Castello Monaci

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    Castello Monaci, , Italy
    Castello Monaci
    Castello Monaci has a big “M,” as a symbol. It is a new brand which stands for the union of the work of man with that of the sun. More than the sum of two parts, Castello Monaci is a unique, new whole. Not far from the town and the sea, on the road from Lecce to Taranto, at the gates of Salice Salentino surrounded by centuries-old vegetation, are located 150 hectares: the vineyards of Castello Monaci. It is a place where modernity and tradition meet.

    The choice of grape varieties is a combination of local viticultural tradition–indigenous Negroamaro, Primitivo and Malvasia Nera–with scientific vineyard management through a careful selection of clones and root stocks. The tufa (‘rocks’) of local soils contribute structure to the wine, aid in drainage for the vines, and reflect the light, helping the sun’s work for the vines. Dug out of subterranean rock, the geometric-shaped cellar houses 1,000 barriques and modern temperature-controlled systems that allow small parcels of grapes to be vinified separately.

    Napa Valley

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism...

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

    An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture...

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    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.

    BEE6890186_2009 Item# 110912

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