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Merlot is a dark blue-colored wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird, probably a reference to the color of the grape. Its softness and "fleshiness", combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin.
Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Merlot is one of the primary grapes used in Bordeaux wine, and it is the most widely planted grape in the Bordeaux wine regions. Merlot is also one of the most popular red wine varietals in many markets. This flexibility has helped to make it one of the world's most planted grape varieties. As of 2004, Merlot was estimated to be the third most grown variety at 260,000 hectares (640,000 acres) globally, with an increasing trend. This puts Merlot just behind Cabernet Sauvignon's 262,000 hectares (650,000 acres).
While Merlot is made across the globe, there tends to be two main styles. The "International style" favored by many New World wine regions tends to emphasize late harvesting to gain physiological ripeness and produce inky, purple colored wines that are full in body with high alcohol and lush, velvety tannins with intense, plum and blackberry fruit. While this international style is practiced by many Bordeaux wine producers, the traditional "Bordeaux style" of Merlot involves harvesting Merlot earlier to maintain acidity and producing more medium-bodied wines with moderate alcohol levels that have fresh, red fruit flavors (raspberries, strawberries) and potentially leafy, vegetal notes.
Chateau Portillon is Merlot dominant, but the Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc in the blend lend herb & earth notes. Ch. Portillon is well above the average Bordeaux table wine & will match with serious cuisine at a very affordable price.
Surprisingly, "Baronesc". Its 4 months of barrel ageing only tames its' robust and youthful palate.
Intense purple colour with cherry red hues. Fresh nose with plum, cherry and smooth red peppers notes from Cabernet and Merlot. Combined notes with roasted coffee, coconut, honey and vanilla notes given by the French and American oak barrel. Fresh and round- mouth wine with a final astringent touch.
An intense "Claret" style from Saint Macaire. Merlot is dominant with 70% in the blend along with Cabernet Sauvignon. Ample & rich with good body & classically balanced. Rounded, fruity flavours of kirsch, blackberry & vanilla with a lovely nose of rose petals & anise with a touch of blueberry. A lingering, long finish.
100% Merlot, this wine has a deep purple/red colour and a bouquet of cassis with hints of vanilla. A full bodied wine with rich plummy fruit and cassis hints leaving an elegant long and peppery finish, typical of this varietal.
Deep red cherry color with violet rim. Fresh nose, with wild berries and dark fruits aromas. The oak is very well integrated into the wine, providing well layered high toast coffee notes that show a soft aging in oak barrels. In the mouth, it tastes rounded, powerful and elegant.
93pts - James Halliday
"Bright & clear red-purple; clean, deep varietal redcurrant & blackcurrant fruit aromas lead into a palate with excellent texture, structure & weight. Has very clear varietal fruit definition."- James Halliday
A seriously fun wine. 12 month in the barrel has softened the restless character of this modern Ribera.
Intense purple colour with cherry red hues. Fresh nose with red fruits, balsamic and spices notes such as coffee and coconut. An aromatic elegance built on the ageing at French oak barrels. A powerful round-mouth wine, elegant but easy to drink. The result is a wine with a more modern and elegant style so that all people can enjoy it.
Ch. Prieuré de Blaignan is the 'second' wine of Ch. Blaignan - part of a stable of prestigious Bordeaux chateaus. A clear, attractive red, with a fresh nose of forest berry characters & a freshness that's evocative of bilberry & red currant in. On the finish, it leaves supple tannins on the palate. 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 55% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc
This Superb Bordeaux Superieur of 12 ha is located between Château Siran, Château Dauzac (5th Growth) and the River Gironde. The family de Cazenove decided to replant this old estate that was frozen in 1956. They selected the best parcels of Alluvium soil where they planted Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc on rootstocks adapted to the soil. A deep understanding of local traditions, dedicated work and high quality requirements allowed reaching maturity and an excellent plant level. This vintage is characterized by fragrances of ripe raspberries and a gorgeously dense structure, ample and long in mouth