Castel Sallegg - Nussleiten Alto Adige DOC Merlot 2016
Castel Sallegg - Nussleiten Alto Adige DOC Merlot 2016 (90+ TSW)
Today a very special “Grand Cru” wine from Alto Adige. The grape variety from Bordeaux that is so popular today, especially on the right bank of the Gironde, is doing very well in Alto Adige.
The microclimate of Lake Caldaro is where the Merlot Nussleiten thrives on a vineyard measuring just 0.5 ha, which consists of only eight rows of vines. The terroir is a sandy loam hillside with sandstone gravel and an excellent microclimate thanks to its vicinity to Lake Kaltern.
The grapes hang just 40 cm from the ground (the normal distance is 70 cm) and can thus absorb the warmth from the soil, which aids the ripening process. The plants are over 25 years in age and their yield is reduced to just one cluster per vine. These Merlot grapes are also carefully treated in the cellar: after gentle fermentation, the Nussleiten ages for 24 months in new French barrique casks that accentuate the wine’s typical aroma, followed by 12 months of bottle aging.
My tasting notes:
In the glass an intense ruby red color with garnet reflections.
On the medium nose aromas of red berries, strawberry compote and blackberries with hints of tobocco, balsamico, roast and subtle vanilla.
On the palate dry, full-bodied with medium acidity and medium+ tannins. Well balanced with round and warm mouthfeel showing flavours of ripe juicy fruit, black pepper, herbs, ripe plums and red paprika. Nice long final.
Before drinking give the wine time in the decanter. Would retaste in 5 years.
Goes well with briefly fried or grilled dishes of beef and lamb, but also with game or dark poultry and spicy hard cheese.