|Castello di Luzzano (Italy) Merloblú 2001
This wine is designated as a humble Vino da Tavola, being 100% Merlot grown on the border between Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy, where indigenous grapes like Barbera and Bonarda make D.O.C. wines. This is a family estate, were winemaking sisters Maria Giulia and Giovannella Fugazza have carved out a fine reputation for their wines. Here, young vines have produced a superbly lithe, vibrant Merlot, totally unoaked to allow the smooth depth and muscularity of the fruit to sing out. The colour is an intense crimson, and the nose offers aromas of kirsch, plum and chocolate. There is just the merest hint of something herbal too. On the palate there is a rush of dense, chewy, plummy fruit with a great raft of bittersweet, savoury tannins and a lovely lick of acidity. This has great presence in the mouth, with the absence of oak allowing the deep-set fruit and tannic axis to push through into the finish, with just a hint of spice. A big, fleshy mouthful to be sure, but what a nice wine.
Booths supermarket, £5.49