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2016 Alto Adige Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon “Iugum”

Peter Dipoli
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Do not miss this Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon blend in all its mountain-made glory. From Peter Dipoli’s stunning, high-altitude slopes amid the Dolomites, this Iugum has a lot to say, but it doesn’t shout at you with overripeness, oak, or extraction. It sings to you with subtlety and refinement. Notes of Cassis, black cherries, and espresso draw you into the glass and keep you coming back to decipher what makes this cuvée and terroir so special. Open a bottle now alongside your favorite cut of beef, and stash a few away in a cool place to watch its beautiful evolution over the next five, ten, and fifteen years.

Tom Wolf

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2016
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Alto Adige
Country: Italy
Region: Alto Adige
Producer: Peter Dipoli
Winemaker: Peter Dipoli
Vineyard: Planted in 1992, 1.1 ha
Soil: Clay, Limestone
Aging: Wine ages in bottle until 4 years after harvest
Farming: Sustainable
Alcohol: 14.5%

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About The Region

Alto Adige

map of Alto Adige

In the heart of the Dolomites, Alto Adige is Italy’s northernmost wine region. Having changed hands multiples times in its history between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire (it shares a border with Austria), it boasts strong Germanic influence on its culture, language, cuisine, as well as its wines.

The mountainous geography is the principal determinant of local winemaking styles, with the high-altitude vineyards and cool Alpine climate favoring primarily crisp, racy, aromatic whites from varieties like Kerner, Sauvignon, Müller Thurgau, and Grüner Veltliner. A Mediterranean influence on climate is channeled north up the valley until Bolzano, permitting the cultivation of certain reds as well, among which Schiava, Lagrein, Pinot Nero, and Merlot fare best.

Small growers who once sold fruit to the area’s multiple co-ops are now increasingly bottling their own wines. The arrival of many quality-oriented artisans on the scene caught our eye years ago, and we now count three estates from Südtirol, as it is also known, in our portfolio. These high-acid mountain wines make for a beautifully invigorating aperitivo with thinly sliced speck, a local specialty.

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Sampling wine out of the barrel.

When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174

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