"This Merlot, which in the Terlano DOC area feels particularly at home on warm south-facing slopes with deep, loamy soils, is a complex, full-bodied red wine of great finesse."
- Doc denomination: Alto Adige
- Variety: 100% Merlot
- History of the variety: first vintage 1989
- Year: 2015
- Bottles produced: 25,000
- Yield: 56 hl/ha
- Quality line: The selections
Manual harvest and selection of the grapes; destemming followed by slow must fermentation at a controlled temperature and gentle agitation of the must in stainless steel tanks; malolactic fermentation and aging for 12 months partly in big wooden barrels (70%) and partly in barriques using one third new barrels (30%); blending three
months before bottling.
- Country: Alto Adige DOC
- Provenance: Alto Adige
- Altitude: 250 - 900 m a. s. l.
- Slope: 5 - 70 %
- Orientation: South - Southwest
- Color: brilliant deep ruby red
- Smell: The primary fruit aromas of dried plum and cranberry combine with the herbal aromas of mint and eucalyptus and a hint of black pepper to create a many-faceted bouquet.
- Taste: With its sturdy tannin structure and rich fruit aromas, the Merlot can develop to the full on the palate to display great complexity with depth and length.
Goes well with shoulder of kid braised in olive oil and herbs on asparagus and wild vegetables, beef tagliata on a bed of rocket, rabbit stew or braised leg of lamb with spinach polenta; equally attractive with aubergine alla parmigiana.
2015 will go down in the history of viticulture as hot and dry but generally a good year. As a result of a combination of high temperatures and low levels of precipitation, the water supply to the vines was at the lower limit, and the vines produced loose clusters of small grapes – ideal conditions for top quality wines.
New shoots appeared on the vines towards the end of March and beginning of April. Spring brought both a little rain and numerous days with above-average temperatures. The vines made correspondingly rapid progress, and by mid-May the first inflorescences started to blossom. In the following weeks, summer consolidated its hold and the warmest June on record for South Tyrol was followed by a July with more record temperatures and numerous nights with temperatures above 20°C. That slowed down the ripening process in the lower-level vineyards and harmonized the vegetation stages on all the sites. Irrigation measures were taken to avoid desiccation and negative effects in terms of quality. Lignification proceeded quickly and well, and the ripening of the grapes also made fast progress. Thanks to the sunny days of late summer, it was possible to start harvesting the grapes at the end of August already. The biggest challenge at this point was choosing the ideal date for the harvest to ensure that the grapes had achieved phenolic maturity and offered a good balance between sugars and acidity.
Alto Adige is one of Italy's smallest wine-growing areas. Located as it is at the interface between the Alpine north and the Mediterranean south, it is also one of its most diverse. Countless generations have shaped Alto Adige as a land of wine, where vines grow on various types of soil and in a range of climate zones at between 200 and 1,000 meters above sea-level. It is the home of authentic wines with a character of their own, with a focus on white wines: About 60 percent of the sites are planted with white varieties and only 40 percent with red.
In addition to Pinot Grigio and Gewürztraminer, it is mainly Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc that have made Alto Adige one of Italy's leading white wine regions. In the case of the reds, the range of wines includes the autochthonous varieties Lagrein and Schiava as well as such international classics as Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet. With all their variety, 98 percent of Alto Adige's wines have a DOC classification, with an impressive share of top-class wines.
The high peaks of the main Alpine chain protect South Tyrol from the Atlantic winds and cold northerlies, while the region benefits from the Mediterranean climate from the south. That explains the pronounced differences between day- and night-time temperatures, which are the key to full maturity and elegant wines.
To the south, a number of mountain massifs like the Adamello also have a protective function. As a result, annual precipitation is only about one third of the average for the southern Alpine foothills, and the number of hours of sunshine is higher. The climatic conditions are not unlike those to be found in wine-growing areas like the Swiss Canton Valais.
When the sun rises behind the mountains east of Terlano on one of the year’s 300 sunny days, it is already high in the sky as the wine-growing area has a westerly to south westerly exposure. The lower atmospheric density permits more direct solar irradiation with less diffuse sunlight. That increases the difference between the slopes on the sunny and shady sides of the valley.
Microclimate in Terlano
Continental climate (Cfa Köppen-Geiger)
Annual sunshine hours: ø 2135
Maximum temperatures: 38,2 °C
Average temperatures: 12,9 °C
Minimum temperatures: -10,7°C
Annual percipitation: ø 558 mm
Average global radiation: 150,1 W/m²
- North foehn: cool and dry down-slope wind
- Ora: valley wind system from the south, bringing in air from the Po Valley
- Alcohol content: 14.0 % vol
- Residual sugar: 1.1 g/l
- Total acidity: 5.4 g/l
- Storage advice: Cool storage at constant temperatures, high level of humidity, good ventilation and as little light as possible
- Cellar temperature: 10 - 15 °C
- Minimum maturity: 4 years
- Serving temperature: 16 - 18 °C