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Planeta Merlot 2006

Merlot from Italy
  • WE90
14.5% ABV
  • WE91
  • WE90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Intense ruby red color. Refined scents of blackcurrant, ripe prune and violet, with a whisper of mint chocolate. Penetrating notes of sage and bay leaves evolve. Full, velvety and lingering on the palate. Fruit flavors, tannins and a light acidity are in harmonious balance.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Planeta delivers a very likeable Merlot that showcases not only the purity of the variety, but the warmth and sunshine of Sicily. There are beautiful notes of plump cherry, succulent blackberry and exotic spice. The wine is perfectly integrated in terms of tannins and persistency.
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Planeta

Planeta

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Planeta, Italy
2006 Merlot
The Planeta family had been cultivating vines in the region of Manfi and Sambuca di Sicilia, not far from Agrigento, for more than 300 years. The company is managed today by the new generation under the direction of Diego Planeta, President since 1972, of the local cooperative and an influential figure in the increase of awareness of quality wines in this region. Other family members occupy full-time roles in the company. Alessio, with the help of Marcello, is in charge of vineyard management, Francesca looks after sales and marketing. Chiara deals with public relations and Giovanni handles administration - truly a family-fun operation. The two properties which make up the estate, Ulmo and Dispensa, both have north-west facing vineyards located at about 250 meters above sea level. Vines are trained on vertical trellises using double Guyot systems. Ulmo, which began production in 1985, has 45 hectares of vineyard, production from the 37 hectares at the Dispensa estate began with the 1997 vintage.

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 and age-worthy wines at its best. 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.

SOU154483_2006 Item# 114893

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