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Falesco Merlot Umbria 2004

Merlot from Italy
  • RP89
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Winemaker Notes

Deep ruby red in color, very spicy and rich in aroma. Blackberry, tobacco and vanilla come through on the palate. The finish is long and pleasant. Recommended with spicier dishes and sauces. A favorite with lamb.

"The 2004 Merlot Pesano was aged five months in small barrels prior to being released. Cotarella is a wizard when it comes to Merlot. This deep ruby/purple-hued effort reveals scents of roasted coffee beans, blackberries, spice box, and a hint of white chocolate. Dense, soft, and everything a Merlot should be, it tastes like a Merlot priced 2-3 times higher. Enjoy it over the next several years."
-Wine Advocate

Critical Acclaim

RP 89
The Wine Advocate

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Falesco

Falesco

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Falesco, , Italy
Falesco
In 2006, our customers purchased more bottles of wine from Falesco than from any other winery in the world! And it's no wonder, as this winery makes some of the top value wines in Italy, if not the world. Falesco's most popular wine is Vitiano, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese grown in Umbria. This is a perennial must-buy: It's lush and fruity, and always seems to garnish outstanding scores from the wine critics.

Falesco was founded in 1979 by Riccardo and Renzo Cotarella, brothers that also happen to be two of Italy's most acclaimed winemakers. Their philosophy is to strike a balance between the uniqueness of native Italian varieties and the versatility of more "international" grapes. As evidenced by the enormous popularity of their wine and the countless worldwide accolades they have received, they have clearly succeeded in achieving their goal. Salute!

Napa Valley

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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.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

MSD30041212_2004 Item# 87435

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