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DSC_0007Not so long ago, Friuli was almost exclusively a red wine region. Then, about fifty years ago, the departure to white began. It was cleared and grubbed until the region could develop into the Italian center of white wine. There, the native "Ribolla Nera" (Schioppettino) and similar old grape varieties no longer had a chance. Also the red wine had to be adapted to the "taste of the time": Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, international grape varieties, are now the dominant red grapes in Friuli. They are the basis for the red flagship wines of the region. The Montsclapade is such a wine, a "Bordeaux Blend", 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, aged in French barriques. It needs bottle aging and only reaches its true drinking maturity after five or more years.