~ The entrance to Casa Emma on the winding SP 101 ~

Last May I sat down with Paolo Paffi, the General Manager of Casa Emma for an interview and tasting of the estate’s pure Merlot, Soloio.  At the time, the wine was newly released and despite decanting it for almost 2 hours, the wine remained closed. As a result, I provided only score range.  Recently, I revisited the wine with much different results.

Soloio is produced only in the best vintages.  The wine is vinified in stainless steel and then aged in French barrique for 18 months. Following that, Soloio is aged for 12 months in bottle prior to release. While vintage conditions obviously dictate, about 5,000 bottles are produced with each vintage.

Rows of grape vines

~ Vineyards on the Casa Emma Estate ~

The 2015 Casa Emma Soloio is starting to develop that velvety texture that is utterly divine.  Decanted for 60 minutes, the wine displays extroverted aromas of crushed black plum, eucalyptus, lavender, sage and tobacco.  It displays that herbal side of Merlot well without seeming underripe.

On the palate, the wine is juicy, full bodied and fresh.  The plum flavors fall in line with toasted spices and hints of minerality. While this is still rather tannic, especially without food, it was delicious with Veal Milanese. Note the crusty sediment on the bottle. Decanting is both rewarding and necessary.  Needs another 5 years to fully shine.  95 points.

Wine bottle, decanter and glass

~ While the 2015 advanced some in the last 9 months, clearly this will continue to benefit from extended cellaring ~

Stay patient with this wine.  The pure magic of Tuscan Merlot requires patience but I’m confident it will emerge.  Want to learn more about Casa Emma?  Go here:  Visit the Winery.


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