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Merlot

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.

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... read more.

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Key Countries and Regions

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).

Common Flavours and Ageing

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.

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  1. Château Kirwan, Margaux

    Chateau Kirwan 2000 75cl

    Limited stocks

    Classic high quality claret that has plenty of aging potential due to its balance of delicate subtlety and sturdy structure. The palate is complex and the finish lasting but the best is still to come from this vintage.

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    £107.10
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    £115.15
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    £89.25
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    £95.96
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  2. Château Cantenac Brown, Margaux

    Château Cantenac Brown, Margaux, 2007 75cl

    This outstanding vintage has all the rich fruit character you'd expect from Marguax with this wine's best arguably still to come. It is a touch more lively than aniticipated with good tannic backbone. A well made wine which we would expect from this third growth estate.

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    £67.27
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    £77.00
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    £56.06
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    £64.17
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  3. Château Fourcas Hosten, Listrac Médoc

    Château Fourcas Hosten, Listrac Médoc, 2007 75cl

    Lots of black fruit flavour here with black cherry most detectable. The fruit is supported by supple tannins that make for a medium bodied wine that is ready to go but will happily cellar for another year or so.

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    £21.78
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    £24.14
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    £18.15
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    £20.12
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  4. Château Kirwan, Margaux

    Château Kirwan, Margaux, 2009 75cl

    Still too young to tell exactly how this wine will develop but expect blackcurrant fruit to be surrounded by strong tannin and cedar. Softening with time will bring smooth velvety palate and a long deep finish.

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    £81.84
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    £89.15
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    £68.20
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    £74.29
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  5. Château Kirwan, Margaux

    Château Kirwan, Margaux, 2012 75cl

    Dark ruby in colour with a toasty/redcurrant nose, leading to blackcurrant and liquorice flavours. Despite it's youth, the tannins are not overpoweringly green. A suave, medium bodied wine with ageing potential, 

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    £49.92
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    £54.90
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    £41.60
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    £45.75
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  6. Château Trebiac, Graves, 2012

    Château Trebiac, Graves, 2014 75cl

    This Cabernet Sauvignon dominated red is surprisingly soft for a left bank bordeau and shows expressive red fruits which are supported by dark chocolate and a slight nuttines.  

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    £12.11
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    £14.00
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    £10.09
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    £11.67
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  7. Ladera Verde Merlot, Central Valley, 2015

    Ladera Verde Merlot, Central Valley, 2018 75cl

    A stunning scented Merlot with a full and pleasing length and depth of flavour. Loads of plummy fruit flavour are well complimented by soft tannin and medium body. Great on its own or with food, this is as versatile as it is delicious.

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    £6.28
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    £6.90
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    £5.23
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    £5.75
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  8. Pato Torrente Merlot, Central Valley, 2014

    Pato Torrente Merlot, Central Valley, 2018 75cl

    Intensely fruity and fantastically textured. Well rounded with a good structure this wine is versatile and very, very enjoyable.

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    £6.28
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    £6.90
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    £5.23
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    £5.75
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  9. Ladera Verde Merlot, Central Valley (Half Bottle), 2015

    Ladera Verde Merlot, Central Valley Chile (Half Bottle), 2016 37.5cl

    A stunning scented Merlot with a full and pleasing length and depth of flavour. Loads of plummy fruit flavour are well complimented by soft tannin and medium body. Great on its own or with food, this is as versatile as it is delicious.

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    £3.30
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    £3.85
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    £2.75
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    £3.21
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