The back of the bottle says “Bricco Dei Merli” and “Denominazione di Orgine Controllata.” Now, not being familiar with Italian wine and not remembering how this came to be in my cellar – I had to look the terms up. The Denominazione di Orgine Controllata is part of the Italian classification system.
When DOC is mentioned on the label, the wine comes from a narrowly defined area and with very specific requirements for grape varieties, their composition of these, harvest yield per hectare, minimum requirements for alcohol content as well as some technical requirements for the acid content, dry matter, etc. (source)
This makes sense given the “tax stamp” that was still attached to the bottle.
Looking up the other phrase took me to more information on the wine (source). The grape behind this wine is Barbera. So, while normally a fan of French wine, I think I need to try out some more Italian ones.
The acid is really noticeable on the scent of this wine for me, but after the first dry flush (taste) I was hit with really dark fruits and a spicy finish. It’s a bit harsh on the tongue but smooths out with a bit of a salty aftertaste. Kind of like a good day at the ocean.
Which if you look at the link above about the wine matches the description, well, except for the ocean bit… that’s all me. Aerating it pulled out more of the minerality. The more you let it breathe before drinking (or while drinking) the better it gets. I’d open it an hour before you want to serve it.
This is a Friday night wine (both in price point and taste) that was wasted on a Tuesday pizza and Peaky Blinders night. [Note the 2020 vintage is in the $20 range] It did however, go really well with the sausage, black olive and mushroom (with extra cheese) pizza. It brought out the spiciness. So, while it probably should have been saved for a Friday, it actually was the perfect way to end a long Tuesday.