Critical Acclaim: 96 pts Vinous; 93 pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate; 93 pts James Suckling.
Winemaker's Tasting Notes: The colour is deep and vibrant purple, clear, brilliant and beautiful texture. The nose is complex and the black fruit (blackberry and blueberry in particular) prevails in a clear manner. Raspberry, cherry and plum, followed by roasted notes of cocoa, vanilla and coffee. The mouth is soft and enveloping, with fine and elegant tannins. Warm, soft and very balanced. The finish is long and harmonious with a marked fruity aftertaste.
"The 2018 Poggio ai Merli is stunning for the way it combines the fruit intensity of Merlot with the structure of Chianti Classico and the vibrancy of the year. What a wine. Inky blue/purplish fruit, grilled herbs, menthol, licorice, black pepper and earthy flavors all race through this deep, potent Merlot from Castellare. Even with all of its intensity, the 2018 retains striking freshness and tons of verve."- Vinous.
"The Castellare di Castellina 2018 Poggio ai Merli is a pure expression of Merlot with 3,813 bottles in existence. This is a rich and succulent rendition with high notes of dried mint and graphite that hover over the bouquet with an almost suspended or lifted quality. Those pretty aromas set the stage for the dark and nicely concentrated fruit that you find directly underneath. This expression from 2018 shows some dryness on the close, but the smooth and creamy richness of the fruit successfully, and gracefully, takes over the palate. Serve it with a platter of soft pecorino wedges dipped in honey."- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.
"A juicy red with lots of ripe-fruit and citrus undertones to the smoked oak. Medium to full body, chewy tannins and a fruity finish. It’s a little disjointed now, so needs a few years to come together. But excellent potential in this pure merlot. Try after 2022."- James Suckling.
About the Winery: Castellare di Castellina was born of the union of four estates (Castellare, Caselle, San Niccolò and Le Case) on the initiative of Paolo Panerai, with the aim of producing wine of the best possible quality. The Castellare winery has grown in terms of its installations over time as production has increased. In the past it consisted only of concrete tanks with a production capacity of about 200,000 bottles a year; it now produces around 400,000 bottles. When the era of heat-treated steel vinification tanks began, a new winery was built without altering the style of the centuries-old buildings.
Serving Suggestions: All red meats, especially liver and boar.