This is a 75% Merlot, 25% Cab Franc from the Veneto. I wasn't sure what to expect when this bottle was brought to my table last evening, while dining at Grappolo. I often defer my wine selection to Daniele, one of the owners, just to see what surprises he has up his sleeve. He brought this wine out, and decanted it for us. The wine's appearance was a beautiful garnet in the decanter.
Truthfully, I was anticipating an oaky monster, not being familiar with this bottling. Upon nosing the glass, I found something far more restrained, and was immediately reminded of Bordeaux, with tell tale aroma of tobacco leaf. The Cab Franc really adds character to this wine, and I liked it quite a bit. It was substantial on the palate, but not syrup like or jammy, but instead quite balanced. I believe the wine would benefit from some more cellar time, as it showed a fair amount of tannin.
The wine had a long finish, with just a touch of heat on the back end, but it didn't seem too alcohol laden to me. We both remarked that we didn't feel too much of a buzz from it, the way we often do after drinking a bottle of one of the "Super Tuscans" that Daniele sometimes pours for us.
This was a nice wine, and one I'd like to try again.
Our entree, with which we consumed the bulk of the bottle, was a strip steak, cooked rare, and sliced thinly. It was a wonderful match.