Merlot is commonly used in Cabernet Sauvignon blends, as it is not very tannic and has a mid-palate weight, nicely contrasting the heavy tannin and doughnut-like palate structure of Cabernet Sauvignon. It also grows in similar conditions to Cabernet Sauvignon, thus making them perfect partners.
By itself, Merlot can produce rich, juicy, fruit-driven wines, but is also prone to over-cropping, which can led to dull wines. Vineyard location and maintenance is important in making the most of this variety.Read More
Merlot is the backbone grape in many Bordeaux wines, and is the dominant grape in the blends of St-Emilion and Pomerol. It is the basic ingredient of some of the most sought-after wines in the world (those hailing from Chateux Petrus, Le Pin and Clinet). Merlot also plays a major role in the New World wines from America (California and Washington State), Chile, Italy (Tuscany), Australia (Margaret River) and New Zealand (Hawkes Bay).
The most prevalent flavours include fruits like cherry, black olive, mulberry and raspberry (even fruitcake); root vegetables like beetroot and rhubarb and natural flavours such as earth, violet and a leaf-like taste. The texture is juicy, velvety, rounded and smooth, being medium-bodied and well-balanced. It can be drunk when young due to its supple and plump character; at such an age, it is very deep in colour, often near-black with purple hints. As it ages, it becomes closer to a garnet-red, and the richer flavours of leather, caramel, bacon, truffle and coffee materialise.