Rustic Yet Elegant Italian Merlot

Today’s Story: Feudi di San Gregorio

Feudi di San Gregorio is a fairly large winery established in 1986 in the village of Sorbo Serpico in Irpinia (Province of Avellino) of the Campania region of Southern Italy. Though Feudi di San Gregorio consists of about 300 hectares of vineyards and they produce roughly 3.5 million bottles of wine annually, the winery is known for their high quality and a dedication to native varieties such as Aglianico, Falanghina, Greco, and Fiano. Many of their vines are a century old (some even closer to 150 years old), providing Feudi di San Gregorio with unique holdings after many of their neighbors replanted to non-native varieties. This being said, they don’t entirely ignore non-native varieties and have a small percentage of their vines planted to Merlot. With all these factors in mind, Feudi di San Gregorio is often credited as a leading winery bringing glory to Campania with a marriage of tradition and modern winemaking.

Today’s Wine: 2010 Pàtrimo

100% Merlot; 14% ABV

The 2010 Pàtrimo is opaque deep ruby in color with a touch of deep garnet variation near the rim. Still youthful in appearance and taste out of the bottle, I decanted this for about 90 minutes. Afterwards, the nose exploded into aromas of blackberry, plum, licorice, sweet tobacco, savory grilled herbs, sun-dried earth, clay, chocolate, and slight oaky spice. Meanwhile on the palate I get notes of black cherry, blackberry, plum, cola, tobacco, green herbs, bay leaf, crushed rock, scorched earth, iron, and bitter chocolate. This is medium- to full-bodied with medium acidity, dusty medium (+) tannins, and a long finish. While very elegant, this is fairly rustic for a Merlot and certainly shows its Italian charm.

Price: $120 to $165 depending on location (I paid $40 on sale in 2018). I think the $120 range is rather fair, though if you find this closer to $165 that is certainly pushing it. This wine is absolutely gorgeous right now and offers great depth and the ability to go for at least another 5 years. Me paying $40 for this was an absolute robbery, and I’m thankful to have two bottles left to try over the years to come.

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