The first information about Merlot comes from 1783, known by the name “Merlau”, while the actual name “Merlot”
comes from 1824, in a treatise on Medoc wines.
The origin of the name is quite interesting, it comes from a bird called “Blackbird”(in French it is called “Merle”), which it particularly loves the grapes of this variety.
According to genetic analyzes, Merlot is the result of a cross between Cabernet Franc and Magdeleine Noire des Charentes (a vinegrape that is now almost extinct).
Our wines follow a common philosophy and the Portico is no exception: a pure wine aged in oak barriques.
In our opinion, Merlot should not only be structured but also it should have an important elegance and softness, as well as complex and elegant aromas. Great attention is given especially to the moment of harvesting, which is essential for obtaining this type of wine.
The winery currently has 1.3 hectares of Merlot, a more “recent” part (23 years) and an older part (30-35 years).
Dark red in color, tertiary aromas and ripe fruit predominate on the nose, especially dark cherry, blackberry and cedar.
Among the more “recent” vintages, I really appreciate 2013. Recently I also tasted older vintages and the 2007 and 2003 impressed me very positively.
Cabernet Sauvignon, in my opinion the most important vine in the world. The rampant autochthonous rhetoric defines it as “not typical”: it is often criticized for making wines that are too similar even if planted in different parts of the world, in other words someone say that Cabernet Sauvignon doesn’t respect the “terroir” (using this word almost always inappropriately). It is true that there are more regions where you can have a good Cabernet Sauvignon than those for a good Ciliegiolo, but it is also true that Cabernet Sauvignon based wines from Napa Valley, New Zealand, Bordeaux and Tuscany have different identities among them having in common only the most important thing: they are all very good wines.
As I think the reader has understood, I feel an immense love for this grape variety, lately a bit mistreated but with almost infinite potential.
My father, known the pedoclimatic conditions of our vineyards, decided to create a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine. A bold choice that has found great success, with the creation of a unique and inimitable product.
The name Sassoforte was taken from the family villa (so called because it was built on a large stone), an evocative name that means a lot to us. A particularity of Sassoforte is the label, really beautiful and impactful.
The main feature of Sassoforte is its incredible structure which blends very well with the other properties of the wine, without being tannic and aggressive: a real “iron fist in a velvet glove”. The most evident aromas are blackcurrant and licorice, followed by pepper, cinnamon and myrtle.
There are many vintages that impressed me but the last one (after 10 years we taste a “mature” wine for a final judgment) Sassoforte 2009 particularly amazed me with its “enormous” elegance.
P.S. I don’t know when I’ll write a new article but I promise that I won’t spend 3 months like with the Malbec!