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Maculan Torcolato (half-bottle) 1999

Other White Blends from Veneto, Italy
  • WS90
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

The color, pale to golden amber depends on the amount of botrytis that occurred that year. Torcolato has a rich and spicy flavor reminiscent of baked pears. Hints of apricot, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and hazelnut also come through. This is a succulent, luscious dessert wine, not too sweet as a result of perfectly balanced acidity. Best drunk on its own, yet also excellent with cakes and fruit tarts or roquefort or other creamy blue cheeses.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
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Maculan

Maculan

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Maculan, , Italy
Maculan
For three generations the Maculan family has been selecting and vinifying the best grapes in Breganze, an enchanting village set like a small jewel at the foot of the Alps in Italy’s Veneto region. The surrounding mountains protect the area from cold winds, creating a perfect microclimate for the cultivation of vineyards. But it is Fausto Maculan’s drive and commitment, rather than any accident of nature, which set these wines apart and distinguish Maculan as an innovative and dynamic winery. Designed by Fausto himself, the winery is one of the most stunning small wineries in Italy, an amazing mixture of ingenuity and style. The new winery provides the theatre for a marvelous combination of antique traditions and modern techniques using the latest winemaking technology. Long-held family traditions are respected: from using specially selected vineyards and the careful selection of the bunches of grapes, to aging in new, small oak barrels and conserving the grapes on racks for the production of Torcolato. The fusion of tradition and innovation results in a selection of fresh and fruity whites, well-structured reds and delicious dessert wines. Designed by Fausto himself, the winery is one of the most stunning small wineries in Italy, an amazing mixture of ingenuity and style. The new winery provides the theater for a marvelous combination of antique traditions and modern techniques using the latest winemaking technology. Long-held family traditions are respected, from using highly selected vineyards and the careful selection of the bunches of grapes, to aging in new, small oak barrels and conserving the grapes on racks for the production of Torcolato. The fusion of tradition and innovation results in a selection of fresh and fruity whites, well-structured reds and delicious dessert wines.

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.

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.

HNYMACTOO99B_1999 Item# 40728

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