2016 Winemakers Selection Exclamation Merlot
In 2006, Pillitteri Estates Winery’s founders Gary and Lena Pillitteri commissioned the creation of the 23 stainless steel chairs which now hang on the walls of our barrel cellar. The chairs symbolically tell the story of the past, present and future of the Pillitteri family, and add a “new world” element our barrel cellar’s old-world ambiance. Exclamation wines come only from grapes grown in the best vintage years. These wines are exemplary of the commitment that Pillitteri has made to producing world-class wine. These wines are hand-selected by our Winemaker, Aleksandar Kolundzic as his personal favourites and are treated as such by him during their production.
Only produced in the absolute best growing seasons, the Winemaker’s Select is a limited selection of barrels from within the Exclamation Series that the winemaker identifies as displaying even more complexity and intensity than the rest. These wines are therefore even more age worthy when compared to the other Exclamation wines. For 2016, six barrels from each batch of Exclamation wine were selected and blended into these exceptional and limited bottlings.
The 2016 Vintage was extremely hot with little rainfall and lots of sunshine. To protect the grapes, we left foliage on the vines providing extensive canopy. The soil was able to hold moisture through the season to ensure the vines remained healthy in the heat, producing a crop balanced in sugars, water and acidity- a known Niagara trait.
When compared to the silver label Exclamation series, the 2016 Winemaker’s Select Merlot shows a clear increase in both colour and flavour intensity. As the wines opens up in the glass, it reveals intoxicating notes of black cherry, black plum, kirsch, dark chocolate, and bay leaf, along with a healthy dose of oak derived characteristics like cedar, vanilla, and charred wood from its lengthy aging in barrel. The palate is full bodied, yet also silky smooth thanks to refined tannins and its bright, cool-climate acidity. It all comes together with very well integrated alcohol and a lingering finish. This wine not only proves the potential heights Merlot can achieve in Niagara, but also stands as a benchmark when compared to any example from around the world.
VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake VQA