The son of a winemaker, Cotarella has accumulated some incredibly impressive titles over the years. He’s won “winemaker of the year” honors from the Italian wine bible, Gambero Rosso as well as being called by Robert Parker Jr., “one of the most influential personalities in the world in the last 20 years.”
And in Italy, he’s affectionately known as both ‘il mago’ (the wizard) and Mr. Merlot, a testament to the extraordinary work he does with the international varietal.
Once upon a time, the Cotarella family was called crazy by the locals and told to stick to indigenous varietals. But as you might’ve guessed by the ‘Mr. Merlot’ nickname, Riccardo did not listen– instead finding that the terroir of the volcanic clay soil of Lazio actually nurtured the precocious Merlot vines making incredible wines. His Falesco Merlots would be the catalyst for his launch into international stardom.
Farmed and produced by Riccardo and his brother Renzo off the family winery in Lazio, the 2015 Sodale Merlot hits you with concentrated waves of blackberries, raspberries, and cherries with slight baking spice and leather aromas. This is tightly woven and super fresh– an absolute gem in the warm 2015 vintage.
90 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Here is a new wine from the Cotarella family. The 2015 Merlot Sodale aspires to a very specific place in the marketplace: impressive quality at a very attractive price point… This wine drinks as you would imagine a warm-vintage Merlot would. It offers soft cherry fruit and ripe blackberry with spice and leather.