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Santa Margherita Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
When you hear “Santa Margherita,” you probably think of their iconic Pinot Grigio. While they are proud to have led an entire generation of Italian white wines with this inspiring and much-loved favorite, there’s a lot more to their story. Santa Margherita represents the best of tradition, innovation, a passion for authentic and enjoyable wines, and respect for the people and the lands that produces them.
Over 80 years ago, Count Gaetano Marzotto led the revitalization of an abandoned portion of the Venetian countryside. Here, where rivers from the alps cut through the sun-drenched hills on their winding way to the Mediterranean shore, he created much-needed farmlands and restored traditional wine-making in what had been a region of fine vineyards since the time of the Roman Empire. Employing new agricultural science and a commitment to the needs of the Italian people, Marzotto gave this labor of love the name of his dear wife Margherita, and the first piece in the mosaic of Santa Margherita was set.
Since then, Santa Margherita has grown to encompass vineyards across Italy, from the Veneto to Tuscany, producing distinctive, authentic wines of deep tradition and regional character. Their wines are crafted for the evolving tastes of today’s fine wine lovers, and they invite you to pair the people and foods in your life with the Pinot Grigio they made famous, their brilliant Prosecco, their complex Chianti Classico Riserva or their delicate Sparkling Rosé.
They hold their entire organization to the highest levels of social responsibility and environmental sustainability while remaining committed to their Italian heritage. As they continue to thrive and expand, the truest measure of their success is being welcomed and enjoyed by you, today.
Trentino, the southern half, is primarily Italian-speaking and largely responsible for the production of non-native, international grapes. There is a significant quantity of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Merlot produced. But Trentino's native and most unique red variety, Teroldego, while still rare, is gaining popularity. It produces a deeply colored red wine rich in wild blackberry, herb, coffee and cocoa.
The rugged terrain of German-speaking Alto Adige (also referred to as Südtirol) focuses on small-scale viticulture, with great value placed on local varieties—though international varieties have been widely planted since the 1800s. Sheltered by the Alps from harsh northerly winds, many of the best vineyards are at extreme altitude but on steep slopes to increase sunlight exposure.
The primary white grapes are Pinot grigio, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot blanc, as well as smaller plantings of Sauvignon blanc, Müller Thurgau. 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.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.