Wednesday, April 16, 2008

UNLVino: Terlato Wines International

Recently, I attended a local wine tasting where I met Doug Fletcher, the wine maker for Terlato Family Vineyards. I was very impressed with their wines so was interested when I saw a table for Terlato Wines International at the UNLVino tasting.

Terlato Wines International is a huge wine marketing company, representing one out of every eight bottles of wine costing over $14. They represent some high quality brands and a few of them were available for tasting. Though they did not have any Terlato Family Vineyard wines that I had not tasted before, I did enjoy two other wines they had available.

The first, and one of my top favorites of the entire tasting, was a 1997 M. Chapoutier Hermitage Monier de La Sizeranne (about $120). This Northern Rhone wine is predominately Syrah. The wine was a dark red, nearly purple, in color with an intriguing nose of dark berries and spice. It was clearly a very complex wine with an interesting mesh of plum, blackberry, vanilla, spice, and other flavors. Yet it all came in a subtle package where no single element overwhelmed. A very smooth and satisfying wine with a very long finish. This wine was superb and I could not get enough of it. At this price point, a wine better be impressive and this wine certainly was well worth its price. I give this my highest recommendation.

The second, and also an impressive wine, was the 2005 Gaja Sito Moresco (about $70). From the Langhe region of Italy, this wine is a blend of 35% Nebbiolo, 35% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Several estate-owned vineyards provide the grapes for Sito Moresco, among which is the twenty-five-acre Sito Moresco vineyard in Barbaresco. The name means "Moresco's site" and refers to the former owner of this vineyard. This also was a very dark red wine with a spicy nose. On the palate, the spicy tones were strong, though blended well with the dark fruit flavors. Some dark cherry, blueberry and blackberry notes. It was a smooth wine with a nice, long finish. It certainly had plenty of character and impressed me. It was richer than the Chapoutier though it is also much younger as well. The Moresco should age very well. Another wine I would recommend.

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