Family Collection “The Italian Job” White Merlot 2015
From: Family Collection wines are our small batch bottlings, unique quirky parcels made for inquisitive wine drinkers.
Why On Earth? Many years ago at a dinner in Zürich my friends Peter and Jenny introduced me to white Merlot (Merlot bianco) made in Ticino, the Italian-speaking (southern) part of Switzerland. This is my interpretation of those Chardonnay-style wines. The first vintage, 2008, being slightly pink, was refused official White Merlot status and so it became The Italian Job.
Grapes: 100% Merlot
Winemaking: Merlot, a red-skinned grape of course, hand harvested and then whole bunch pressed very lightly with minimal press tumbling to ensure as little colour as possible runs into the juice. After sedimentation to get rid of the solids the juice was fermented in 8 x 225l French oak barrels, 2nd and 3rd fill. Some barrels were inoculated with selected yeasts, other were allowed to go wild. Eleven months in barrel, bottled in February 2016. Only 1877 bottles made.
Alcohol: 12.21 vol%
Residual sugar: 2.3 g/l
Total acidity: 6.8 g/l
Total extract: 22.3 g/l
Comments: A faint onion skin colour, possibly like rose gold. It’s a wine that’s difficult to describe – delicate rose petal and strawberry whiffs, quince, a little smokey. The taste is flinty, buttery, almost salty, with a crisp finish, fabulously unique. Ageing potential: I’m not really sure but presumably about 10 years. Needs quite rich food, sublime with smoked salmon risotto, juicy crab cakes, sweet scallops and beetroot carpaccio.