Shortly after Long Island turned me on to merlot, a friend mentioned a bottle he had had while dining at Felidia restaurant in NYC. The sommelier recommended a merlot from the Friuli region of northern Italy. Having been blown away by the wine, he managed to salvage the label and pass along the good word to me. I have since-found a couple other producers from that area which make merlot in the same minerally, lightly tannic, and vibrant style.
These wines aren't easy to locate as even wine boutiques that only carry Italian wines may only have one such bottle to choose from if any, with retail prices in the mid twenty dollar range. Movia, the Slovenian producer of this bottle is situated on the border of Friuli and Slovenia. They practice organic and biodynamic winemaking while producing only about 13,000 cases a year. This bottle was on sale for $11 (from $15) at my favorite local wine store. This 2005 bottling is a blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and pinot noir, surprising since it is labeled as merlot.
Ruby red color and bursting with cherry and raspberry aromas. This wine jumps out of the glass and greets you with a big hello. It has a silky mouth-feel that dances on the tongue while gaining the attention of every taste bud on my palate. What makes this wine so memorable is a streak of minerality that quickens the pulse and sharpens the senses. The finish is clean and satisfying albeit not all that long. It leaves me thirsting for another sip and wondering what a case discount would come to. My Grade: A-