November 2015 Selection

Merlot and Cabernet, a happy encounter

November 2015 Selection

Maculan Brentino 2013 (2 bottles)
Russolo Borgo di Peuma 2010 (2 bottles)
Sportoletti Villa Fidelia Rosso 2011 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £87.70
Club Discount Price: £77.19
You save: £10.51 (11.98%)

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About this selection...

The two most highly-regarded and widely-grown international red grapes, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, are also found in the Italian regions, providing different and always interesting results.

In Bordeaux, either on their own or cleverly blended, both varieties are the root source of some of the world's most eminent labels. However, from their noble French origins these varieties have come a long way, one that has seen them conquer the whole world.

From such a vast arena, for our Club Italvinus this month we have selected three wines made from these two varieties but giving differing results: Brentino, a balanced wine, very finely crafted and with the sort of versatility that makes it ideal for numerous occasions; Borgo di Peuma, a wine obtained using a special process similar to the 'ripasso', adding the indigenous Refosco to these two varieties; and finally, Villa Fidelia, a classic and elegant wine, in the Bordeaux style, made in Umbria by the famous winemaker Ricardo Cotarella.

A varied selection that represents some of the countless expressions of Merlot and Cabernet. Two varieties which, despite their global presence, offer marvellous results when handled wisely.

When you open a bottle, pour yourself a glass and focus on picking up the varietal notes of green pepper and black fruits. You'll be amazed at the characteristics that the terroir and each winery's style have conferred on the wines, so that they're bestowed with personality. After trying them ourselves, we're confident that every sip will give you satisfaction... Absolute pleasure!

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Maculan Brentino 2013 (2 bottles)

Red. Maculan Veneto, Italy Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon

Bottle: £7.97 club members / £9.05 non-members


Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are present in almost equal measures (55% and 45%), in the making of Maculan Brentino, a Bordeaux-style wine produced by the Maculan winery and very highly-regarded worldwide. The grapes come from the best Breganze vineyards, where they grow on the volcanic limestone hills. Harvested by hand, after fermentation in stainless steel tanks, a certain amount of the wine continues to age in the same tanks while the rest does so in French oak barrels. This results in a balanced wine and a most pleasant drink, a red in which the fruit maintains its crunchiness, garnished with a refined spicy note due to the time spent in oak.

Brentino is a great introductory wine which effectively demonstrates the winery's expertise. Juicy and ready for tasting, on the nose it presents a bouquet of well-defined aromas highlighting its notes of black fruits, sweet spices, tobacco and delicate herbaceous touches. On the palate it appears coherent, balanced and with a freshness that makes it extremely moreish.

The sort of wine you always need to have on the rack, ready to uncork at any opportune moment, very versatile too as regards food pairings, instantaneous, satisfying and well-worked.

  • Alcohol content: 13,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Maculan Brentino 2013
Front and back

Russolo Borgo di Peuma 2010 (2 bottles)

Red. Russolo Venezia Giulia, Italy Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Refosco

Bottle: £15.54 club members / £17.66 non-members


The Russolo winery is a small family business dedicated to producing quality wines that have a most pleasant fragrance and minerality. These characteristics result from San Quirino's particularly favourable microclimate, the wide variation in temperatures, the gravel soils typically found in the province of Pordenone, and an intelligent, well-adjusted production process.

Made from Merlot (90%), Cabernet Sauvignon and Refosco, originating from vines over 30 years old, Borgo di Peuma is a singular wine which is made using a technique called "governo" (a process by which, after 12 months of ageing in French oak barrels, the must obtained from the best clusters of newly-harvested, dried-out Cabernet grapes is added to the wine).

The end result of this process, not very dissimilar to the "ripasso" wine-making technique, is a warm and structured wine that is smooth and full-bodied. A deep ruby-red colour, highlights on the nose are its aromas of ripe black fruit (blackberry), leather, tobacco and notes of damp earth and liquorice. On the palate it comes over as full, with a velvety mouthfeel, smooth, mature, with flavoursome and perfectly integrated tannins.

  • Alcohol content: 13,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Russolo Borgo di Peuma 2010
Front and back

Sportoletti Villa Fidelia Rosso 2011 (2 bottles)

Red. Sportoletti Umbria, Italy Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc

Bottle: £15.08 club members / £17.14 non-members


Although the Sportoletti family has always been involved in agriculture, the decision to give special consideration to the delightful countryside between Spello and Assisi through its wines was taken just over thirty years ago by the brothers, Ernesto and Remo. In 1979, the winery released its first bottles, but it wasn't until 1998, with the collaboration of Ricardo Cottarella, that important changes were introduced regarding the density and yield of the vines, leading the company to dedicate itself to the production of superior quality wines.

Villa Fidelia Rosso is undoubtedly the winery's flagship, a Bordeaux-style wine made from 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. The first variety, sourced from clones selected from an old vineyard, fifty years of age, endows the wine with a special complexity, roundness and smoothness.

Visually a compact ruby-red colour, on the nose it appears elegant, with aromas that fuse splendidly, giving way to a harmonious ensemble in which the featured notes are blueberry jam, violets and wilted roses, tobacco, undergrowth and Sichuan pepper. On the palate, we find a vigorous wine, with tannins clearly present but very fine, and a smoothness which seems to caress the palate most elegantly.

Lamb with fine herbs

  • Alcohol content: 15,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2024.

Sportoletti Villa Fidelia Rosso 2011
Front and back

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