Castello di Bossi. 

By now, readers of this blog should be keenly aware of this Chianti Classico estate’s pedigree.

Equally evident is my love of  Italian Merlot and today’s example from Tuscany, is particularly delicious. 

~ The Courtyard at Castello di Bassi – Berardenga, Chianti ~

The 2007 Girolamo is 100% Merlot from the Castello di Bossi estate.  Decanted for 60 minutes before dinner, the wine is a pure purple and nearly black in the decanter.  The aromas are complex and astounding.  The ripeness of the 2007 vintage was great for Merlot and there is no trace of unripe herbal notes in this wine whatsoever.  The nose is filled with violets, smoke, black fruit preserves, and clove.  On the palate, the wine is sexy and exotic with a wonderful velvety mouthfeel. Flavors follow the nose with crushed black fruit preserves, crushed stones, fresh leather and baking spices. It’s absolutely delicious and as much as I’ve enjoyed Castello di Bossi’s Chianti Classico & Riserva,  I think this may be the best wine I’ve ever tasted from this estate.  Acids and tannins are plentiful and in wonderful balance indicating that this wine should easily live and develop nicely over the next 5-10 years.   92 points, about $45.

To preach for just a moment………  This is what I love about Italian Merlot.  It is the perfect “crossover” wine.  Generally speaking,  Tuscan Merlots develop wonderful ripeness without being overdone. They easily seduce those more accustomed to new world Merlot.  And seduce is the perfect descriptor, as the wines are forward, lush, and tease you playfully to return  for sip after sip.  But the appeal doesn’t end there.  Equally as impressive is the soul behind the wines.  It’s not all about the fruit.  I often find leather, mineral, stones, flowers, olives, brush and mint in the better examples and that’s tertiary complexity that you don’t typically find in fruit driven new world examples.  It’s what Tuscany is about.  Yes, it’s Merlot.  But it’s Tuscan Merlot and to borrow a phrase from a hero of mine:  “God help me, I love it so.”  ~ GSP   Merlot, you are one magnificent bastard!


~ 2007 Girolamo: Served with Maile Milanese, Broccoli Rabe, and Pane Pomodoro ~


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