Borgo La Caccia Scudiero

Borgo la Caccia Scudiero Merlot 2016

When I hear about Lake Garda, I think of the evocative, bucolic paintings of Gustav Klimt and the stunning alpine lake with dramatic mountains all around the northern borders. I think of glamorous Italians with their dark good looks in white shirts sailing the deep blue waters under glorious light blue skies. And of course, the post-card perfect fortified hilltop towns and mellow stone castellos dotting the lush, green foothills of the Italian Alps.

But the big secret of the enchantment of Lake Garda lies in its wines. Little known outside Italy, the Lombard coast of Lake Garda is the source of a wonderful little find that we import – Borgo la Caccia’s Scudiero Merlot.

I had the same reaction, Merlot? From Northern Italy? But I am blown away because the standard of his wine is so high! There is no sign of the overly grippy Italian wines of the past that had you immediately reaching for a shot of olive oil. And, it is not the rounded plummy, jammy Merlot so maligned in the movie, Sideways. This is Merlot at its best. One understands why it is such an integral part of the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol like Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau Angelus, both costing hundreds of dollars.

The Scudiero Merlot 2016, at $X, is a gorgeous wine. On the nose, you start with an enticing mix of black plums, black cherries, tobacco and baking spice. On the palate, it balances perfectly on the tongue with the right amounts of fruit, acid, velvety, textural tannins. And the finish is a lingering fruity, savory flavor that cries out for the next sip.

This wine would pair beautifully with lasagna or baked ziti with fresh tomato sauce laden with basil and garlic and sprinkled generously with parmigiano cheese.

Cin cin!

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