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Kurtatsch Brenntal Merlot Riserva 2017 | Alto Adige DOC

Kurtatsch Brenntal Merlot Riserva 2017 | Alto Adige DOC


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Geographical Indication







Still Dry Red Wine

Complex and rich Merlot Riserva from one of the best cru vineyards in Alto Adige

Rich and deep, with complex flavours, this Merlot Riserva wine tastes like black plums and dark chocolate, underpinned by black pepper and cinnamon.

As you drive up Weinstraße – the Wine Road – towards Bolzano, you find yourself sandwiched between vineyards climbing all the way up to the white wall of the Alps. When we visited the Brenntal vineyard back in August 2020 (pictured), we noticed that the vines are planted at an incredibly steep inclination. Merlot is planted on the upper end of the slope, while the lower part is taken by Gewurztraminer. Brenntal is one of the best Kurtatsch vineyards, as wines from this cru often bring home top marks from wine critics. This Merlot Riserva has a highly respectable 93 points from Falstaff – Austria’s leading wine magazine – and was named “Best in Show” by Mundus Vini in Germany.

Winemaking: The Merlot grapes are crushed and fermented in rotary tanks. Instead of winemakers punching the grape skins down with a pole, the tank slowly rotates on its axis, making only a few full turns per day. This helps the juice to meet the grape skins at a consistent speed to extract deep colour and flavour. The wine is aged in 225-litre French oak barriques for 15 months. After that, it is transferred into large oak barrels to age for one more year, to further develop its spicy flavours. Finally, the Merlot Riserva is aged for at least one year in bottle – this is a very important step for the wine to settle and fully integrate. After a total of three years of ageing, Brenntal Merlot Riserva 2017 was finally released for sale in 2020.

Tasting notes: Deep ruby colour.  Vivid and complex aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry and a fresh hint of sour cranberry, complemented by spices including black pepper, cloves and cinnamon, and followed by the flavours of cocoa, dark chocolate, mushrooms and meat. This Merlot Riserva is dry, with medium acidity, high alcohol and velvety tannins. In the mouth, the wine tastes like black plums and dark chocolate. Drink or hold – it will continue developing and improving for another ten years.

Awards: Falstaff 93 pts (2017 vintage) | Vitae. La Guida Vini 2020 – Four Vines (2017 vintage) | Mundus Vini 2020 – Gold Medal, Best in Show Alto Adige (2016 vintage) | Gambero Rosso – Two Red Glasses, final tasting (2015 vintage) | James Suckling – 93 pts (2016 vintage) | Decanter World Wine Awards – Bronze Medal (2016 vintage) | I Vini di Veronello – 3 stars (2016 vintage)

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