A Northern Italian Merlot

Can you get a decent Italian Merlot at this price?...

Donini Italian Merlot

Donini Italian Merlot

I try not to buy liter bottles of wine. I can rarely finish them. The Lamberti winery was established on the shores of Lake Garda in 1964. They now have 27 hectares (thatís over 65 acres) of vineyards and produce a wine range of local wines including Amarone. The town of Lazise is located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Venice. It has the usual Italian attractions such as a medieval church and a castle as well as a honey festival on the first weekend of October. Offhand, I canít think of any wine that pairs with honey. Todayís companion wine is a Kosher Israeli Merlot costing more than twice as much, ounce for ounce.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed
Donini Merlot di Piave 2012 12 % alcohol about $10 (liter bottle).

Letís start by quoting the marketing materials.ď ďTasting Note: Ruby red colour; plummy fruit nose with hints of leather, tar and anise; dry, with light berry and plummy fruit flavours with pronounced acidity and a clean, short finish; low tannins. Serving Suggestion : Serve slightly chilled with pastas, veal or chicken.Ē And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine displayed harsh acidity and yet it was thin. However, this libation was fairly long. Fiery Wasabi peas tamed the liquidís acidity and brought out its plums. The initial meal centered on chili made with spicy salsa over brown rice. Our Italian friendís metallic acidity was slightly out of bounds. I tasted some plums and no tannins. Zesty guacamole muted the wine. In the face of homemade candy based on chia, sesame, and sunflower seeds, almonds, dried prunes, and apricots, this liquid came out excessively acidic, but I did taste dark cherries.

The second meal focused on homemade chicken breast nuggets. Now my glass tasted plummy with a bit of oak. Roasted eggplant in its skin brimming with garlic cut Redís acidity but kept the plums. Upon pairing with cookies made from sesame seeds and sunflower seeds my drink offered me sour acidity and not much else.

The final meal centered on roasted salmon whose marinade included cumin, black pepper, garlic, vegetable soya, and a bit of agave sauce. Now the Merlot was long and refreshing. It was pleasantly acidic with minty oak. This was a quite good, if non-traditional pairing. The side dish of green beans in a tomato, cumin, and onion sauce shortened the wine and removed its fruit, while keeping the acidity. Dessert was fruit juice candy that darkened but shortened the wine.

Final verdict. I didnít like this wine and have no intention of purchasing it again. And I didnít even come close to finishing the bottle.

Access the companion wine Revisiting A Galilee, Israel Merlot.

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com    and    http://www.wineinyourdiet.com

Visit his website devoted to italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com

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