An astonishing 100% Merlot is the first French wine made by Umbria's well-known winemaking guru, Riccardo Cotarella. He has succeeded in pulling everything possible from this lower level appellation. Notes of espresso, chocolate, blackberries and jammy cherries soar from the glass of this opulently textured, fat, fleshy, opaque purple-colored effort. With low acidity, purity, and sweetness, it will provide beautiful drinking now and over the next 7-8 years. This is unquestionably a sleeper of the vintage. What will the Bordelais think of an Italian winemaker making a garage wine from a satellite appellation? (RP)
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