Merlot Grapes Wine

Merlot Grapes Wine

A member of the Bordeaux family, Merlot, in contrast to Cabernet Sauvignon, is soft, fruity, fleshy, and less tannic. It's the principal grape variety in the wines of St Emilion and Pomerol, and is often blended with Cabernet Franc. These Bordeaux wines are much more accessible when young, but they invariably age quickly, creating a supple, smooth, and velvety texture. Meriot is the most planted grape variety in Bordeaux.

Its characteristics tend to lean towards plum, blackberry, fruitcake and currently tones. In cooler climates, such as Northern Italy, grassy notes are evident. Due to its softness and moderate tannins, Meriot, which has a natural affinity with oak, is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon.

A grape which thrives on clay and limestone-based soils, it is all the rage in California and Chile, where rich, even chocolaty Merlots are made. The dense Merlots of California can be extremely good and again can provide perfect blending material for Cabernet as seen in the Mondavi-Rothschild icon wine, Opus One.

The relatively cool climate of New Zealand enables Merlot, in good vintages, to obtain excellent balance between fruit and acidity. In contrast, Australia's warmer vineyards are not necessarily ideal, as acidity can sometimes be found wanting, making 'cooler' Coonawarra and Western Australia more favorable locations.

Merlot grapes can be found in Bordeaux (St Emilion and Pomerol), Australia, Chile, Southern France, New Zealand, South Africa, California and Washington State.

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