On the Wine Shelf...

Arrigo Bidoli Friuli Merlot DOC 2010 (Independents, €14.79 )

Made from 100 per cent Merlot grapes in Friuli’s cool region in northeastern Italy, this has plenty of blackcurrant and cherry fruit looking for attention on the nose, benefiting from the 10 months it spent in oak. While on the palate the fruit is more intense, the tannins behaving themselves and the oak coming through nicely to give a fine finish. Very likeable and ideal with a rich tomato pasta or selection of hard cheeses.

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