Marzemino was called "Mozart's wine", since the musician quoted it in his Don Juan, but this is a too limiting description for one of the oldest wines of Italy, since it would be more proper to call it "the emperors' wine" or "the doges' wine", as it was present on the tables of the noblemen.
It arrived in Veneto and Lombardia from a town called Merzifon (on the Black Sea), thanks to the people who fought in the Troian war. Then it spreaded upon the Adriatic area and finally arrived in Trentino during the Venice Republic dominion. In the Valle dell'Adige it found an ideal ground where to grow and became the Marzemino Gentile.
This wine is made with little, sparse and extremely sweet grapes.
Sweetness is certainly one of the merits of this grape, but, as it always happen, there is also another side to consider. Marzemino grape, in fact, to produce a good-quality wine needs to produce little, receive a lot of cares and grow in specific geographic areas and in specific positions. It seems as if to grow up Marzemino needs a micro-climate, besides a clay ground and a not very high altitude.
Today this wine is produced only in the Valle dell'Adige and is subject to the a law which establishes a maximum production of 130 quintals per hectare, exclusively in the 13 districts of Ala, Aldeno, Avio, Besenello, Calliano, Isera, Mori, Nogaredo, Nomi, Pomarolo, Rovereto, Villa Lagarina, Volano.
There is also a Marzemino Syndicate, a private institution located in Rovereto which stands besides public institutions in the control of the correct production of the wine. Its symbol is a winged lion with the inscription Iterum rudit leo (i.e. the lion roars again), the symbol of Saint Mark's lion in Venice, since grape came to Vallagarina from there.
Colour: intense ruby red.
Scent: it recalls the little red and black fruit, particularly the blueberry, the raspberry and sometimes the cherry too. Often it has the soft floreal scent of the violet, common in the territory.
Taste: dry, fairly fresh, often soft, rather savory, and well-balanced.
Minimum alcoholic content: 11 degrees
Minimum total acidity: 4,5 per thousand
Minimum dry net extract: 20 per thousand
It is Reserve if aged 2 years with at least 11,5 alcoholic content.
It must be served
at about 18 degrees.
It is the ideal wine with mushrooms dishes, with white or red meat, salted pork meats and sausages.