Our vineyard cru of Kastelaz dominates the landscape of the wine village of Tramin. This is an incredibly dynamic site that is sloped at an imposing 63 degrees with a rare, full Southern exposure. This narrowly-terraced vineyard scales from 330-380 meters above sea level on a layered structure of loose limestone soils, interspersed with post-glacial sand, granite and porphyry. The best elements of Alto Adige viticulture are further magnified here, as the south-facing position grants even more of the region’s ubiquitous sunshine, while strong winds and altitude engender very cool evening temperatures.
2015 was an exceptionally good vintage for all of Alto Adige, probably, the best in the past 10 years! The very favorable weather conditions throughout the growing season with hot and dry summer days, combined with impressive day to night temperature fluctuations, helped to create ripe and healthy grapes, with a stunning spectrum of aromas. These exceptional climatic conditions were the basis for exemplary qualitative results: intense fruit, harmonic structure and intense aromas characterize the wines of this historic vintage, which also persuades for its elegance, fullness and longevity.
Our Vigna Kastelaz Merlot is hand-picked, sorted in the vineyard and once again in the cellar before a short fermentation period of 10 days. The wine is then aged in Limousine and Allier French oak barriques, almost all new, for 18 months before bottle aging for at least 8 months. This is a textbook example of the potential for Merlot in the Dolomites, as it has an intense nose with sour cherry, plum, hints of caramel and fine roasted aromas. It holds supple, velvety tannins with a soft, round texture that is bold, yet balanced. Our Merlot has a spicy body, fruity concentration and refined tannins. It is a wine that is powerful upon release with 15-18 years of cellaring potential.
92 points, Monica Larner, Robert Parker Wine Advocate: “The 2015 Alto Adige Merlot Riserva Kastelaz is a very soft, luscious and bright expression of the French grape. There are lots of rich cherry notes followed by dried blackberry, spice and sweet tobacco. In a sense, the wine shows more width than length. It's a direct and generous Merlot to accompany lamb meatballs with rosemary marinated potatoes. The wine ages in oak for 18 months. Some 6,000 bottles were made.”