Mazzolada Merlot 21
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I love all of the tiny mom-and-pop vineyards and wineries that dot the European landscape. However, if you regularly read this newsletter, you know that I never rule out the large, well-managed Co-ops and the larger family-owned and operated estates. In many cases, they can be excellent sources of inexpensive diamonds in the rough!
The Mazzolada estate is a prime example of a superbly managed large family-owned operation. They produce a wide range of terrific wines, and I find their entry-level bottlings of particular interest.
Grape cultivation in the Veneto, between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, dates back to the reign of the Roman Emporer Constantine the Great. Roman records dating back to 300 BC describe grape growing to produce high-quality wines in the Julia Concordia region (now known as Concordia Sagittaria, which includes the Mazzolada estate). The Genovese family acquired the venerable Mazzolada wine estate in 1985 and continues to uphold the region's centuries-old traditions and culture, evidenced by the numerous prestigious awards in numerous global wine competitions.
Third-generation vignerons, brother and sister Renato and Francesca Genovese, are currently in charge of the property and continue the family's focus on quality and tradition. The family's estate stretches across one hundred hectares of vineyards, almost entirely in DOC and DOCG designations.
Mazzolada Veneto DOC Merlot is sourced from the eastern (Orientale) section of the Venezia province and parts of Treviso. White varietals such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay are prevalent here; however, small pockets are tucked away in the hills that produce perfectly fresh and lifted Merlot.
The common theme with all of Mazzolada's wines is lift and freshness with remarkably low alcohol levels. Coming in at just 12.5%, this Merlot is super-satisfying in the glass, featuring earthy notes of dark cherry, plum, and black raspberry on the nose. The medium-bodied palate is fresh and lifted with a terrific fruit balance, finishing with pleasing earthy, savory notes. Tannins are super soft; however present enough to pair with steaks or chops. This gem of a Merlot will be one of the official burger wines of 2023 for Hammond and me!