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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 Rahoul, Graves

    Château Rahoul, Graves, 2011 75cl

    An interesting nose of red fruit, dark cherries and smoke is joined by leather and black fruit on the palate. The tannins are still quite supple and may benefit from a couple of years further ageing.

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    £23.88
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    £27.14
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    £19.90
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    £22.62
    each Excl. VAT
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  2. Château Jean Voisin Fagouet, Grand Cru Saint-Émilion

    Château Jean Voisin Fagouet, Grand Cru Saint-Émilion, 2012 75cl

    Expressive red fruits complement a brick/ruby colour and fine tannin gives a lingering finish of vanilla and blueberry fruit. Well balanced.

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    £17.04
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    £19.64
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    £14.20
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £16.37
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  3. Château Mathiot, Bordeaux

    Château Mathiot, Bordeaux, 2014 75cl

    An excellent soft and luscious wine from a tiny property one the right bank of the Garonne. Plum and cassis fruit on both the nose and palate.

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    £8.46
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    £9.90
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    £7.05
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £8.25
    each Excl. VAT
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  4. Bellefontaine Merlot, Vin de Pays d'Oc

    Bellefontaine Merlot, Vin de Pays d'Oc, 2017 75cl

    Deeply coloured, medium body in style. An easy-drinking wine from the south of France.

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    £7.68
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    £8.00
    each
    £6.40
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £6.67
    each Excl. VAT
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  5. La Vedette Merlot, Vins de Pays d'Oc

    La Vedette Merlot, Vins de Pays D'oc, 2016 75cl

    Soft plum and juicy winter berries dominate the palate on this velvety red from the South of France.

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    £7.31
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    £8.00
    each
    £6.09
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £6.67
    each Excl. VAT
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  6. Plaimont Ribeton Merlot Tannat, Cotes de Gascogne, 2017

    Plaimont Ribeton Merlot Tannat, Cotes de Gascogne, 2017 75cl

    Deep red in colour, this is a well-judged blend of Merlot's soft fruit and Tannat's structure, making it a full and juicy wine of repute.

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    £7.44
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    £7.90
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    £6.20
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £6.58
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  7. Los Poetas Libertad, Uco Mendoza

    Los Poetas Libertad, Uco Mendoza, 2017 75cl

    An expertly blended red wine madue using traditional Bordeaux varieties that is fruity full bodied and rich.

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    £12.06
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    £13.00
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    £10.05
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    £10.83
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  8. Juniper Crossing Cabernet Merlot, Margaret River, 2013

    Juniper Crossing Cabernet Merlot, Margaret River, 2014 75cl

    Wonderful ripe fruit character of blackcurrant, raspberry, cherry and plums. The palate is deep and rich with juicy mixed berry and plum fruits. Some subtle spice and toasty vanilla hints compliments a long lingering finish.

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    £13.68
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    £15.00
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    £11.40
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £12.50
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  9. 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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  10. Pask Merlot, Gimblett Road

    Pask Merlot, Gimblett Gravels, 2014 75cl

    This is a wonderfully fruity, fragrant Merlot. Garnet colour, with a vibrant hue. Dark plummy notes are to be found on the nose, alongside woody herbs such as thyme, mingling with savoury, gamey aromas. Medium to full bodied with bold tannins and a rounded finish.

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    £13.26
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    £15.00
    each
    £11.05
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £12.50
    each Excl. VAT
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