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Kris Heart Merlot 2006

Merlot from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
  • RP87
13% ABV
  • WE87
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3.2 4 Ratings
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3.2 4 Ratings
13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Garnet in color with intense perfumes of wild berries, crushed fruit and leather. The ripe fruit is well sustained by a lively acidity. This is an easy-going wine with fruity aromas that linger on the palate.

Recommended with roasted meats, rich pastas, sausages and cheeses.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 87
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The estate’s 2006 Merlot Heart is the most complex of this set of wines. This medium-bodied offering possesses attractive notes of dark fruit, smoke, earthiness, licorice, leather and the sweet herbal overtones that are typical of the wines of the Dolomites. The wine was made from a combination of purchased wine, purchased fruit and estate-grown fruit, and aged in a combination of French oak and stainless steel. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2010.
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Kris
Kris, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
2006 Heart Merlot
Kris wines are a joint effort of winemaker Franz Haas and Winebow. Winebow founder and CEO Leonardo LoCascio first met Franz Haas on a visit to Italy in the late 1990s. Immediately impressed with Haas' mastery of winemaking analytics and his painstaking attention to detail in all aspects of vineyard management and winemaking, Winebow began importing Haas wines into the U.S.

Recognizing Haas' winemaking talent and sensing a tremendous market opportunity for well-crafted, reasonably priced "lifestyle wines" in the U.S. market, LoCascio approached Haas about developing top-notch Pinot Grigio and Merlot to be sold in the U.S. under a new label, Kris. Haas agreed, and in his characteristically meticulous fashion, set about laying the groundwork for this new enterprise.

In developing Kris, Haas examined pre-existing vineyards, and carefully explored new sites with soils and locations comparable to his own, in order to plant new vines. The resulting wines, Kris Pinot Grigio and Heart Merlot, have exceeded expectation in both quality and value.

Trentino-Alto Adige

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A mountainous northern Italian region heavily influenced by German culture, Trentino-Alto Adige is actually made up of two separate but similar regions: Alto Adige and Trentino. Trentino, the southern half, is primarily Italian-speaking and largely responsible for the production of large volumes of wine made from non-native grapes. There is a significant quantity of Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio produced here, and Merlot is common as well.

The rugged terrain of German-speaking Alto Adige (also referred to as Südtirol) is more focused on smaller-scale viticulture, and greater value is placed on local varieties, though international varieties are widely planted as well. Sheltered by the Alps from harsh northerly winds, many of the best vineyards are planted at extreme altitude on steep slopes to increase sunlight exposure. Dominant red varieties include the bold, herbaceous Lagrein and delicate, strawberry-kissed Schiava, in addition to some Pinot Nero. The primary white grapes are Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, and Pinot Blanc, as well as smaller plantings of Sauvignon Blanc, Müller Thurgau, and others. These tend to be bright and refreshing with crisp acidity and just the right amount of texture. Some of the highest quality Pinot Grigio in Italy is made here.

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.

YNG15824_2006 Item# 94850

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