Cards of Wine

Merlot (France)

Merlot is a red wine grape from Bordeaux in France.

It is the second most planted grape in the world.

New to red wine? Start with Merlot!

Profile

Merlot is a medium wine with medium tannins and acidity:

Body
Tannins
Fruit
Acidity

Flavors

Plum. Jam.
Dark Berries. Blueberry. Blackcurrant. Black Cherries.
Tomato Leaves. Fennel. Rhubarb. Violets.
Notes of Herbs. Mint. Thyme. Oregano.
New Oak. Chocolate. Vanilla. Licorice. Baking Spices.

Food Pairing

The easy-drinking and velvety Merlot goes well with food and alone.

Merlot pairs well with the same food as Cabernet Sauvignon.

Red Meat Dishes. Roasted Lamb. Casseroles. Beef Stew.
Italian Dishes (Tomato Based). Baked Pasta. Lasagne. Spaghetti Meatballs.
Fried or Grilled Mushrooms.

Serving temperatures:
Unoaked 14-15°C (57-59°F)
Oaked 16-17°C (61-63°F)

The Ideal Glass

The shape of the glass does in fact change the taste of the wine!

The Bordeaux glass is the perfect gass for full bodied red wines like:

The Bordeaux glass is taller than other red wine glasses. It also has a slimmer bowl.

The slimmer bowl has the function of sending the wine directly to the back of the mouth for a maximum taste.

About

The name Merlot derives from French "merle" or blackbird for its dark color.

Merlot is the most widely planted grape in the French Bordeaux region.

Merlot is one of the primary grapes used in Red Bordeaux, along with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

Soil: cool, moisture-retaining clay.

Parents: grapes Cabernet Franc and Magdeleine Noire des Charentes. Sibling grapes: Carmenere and Malbec.

Synonyms: Begney, Seme dou Flube, Bigney Rouge, Crabutet, Merlau, Medoc Noir, Langon, Merle Petite, Semillon Rouge, Plant du Medoc, Plant Medoc, Vitraille, Saint-Macaire, Seme de la Cana.

Chateau: Petrus (Pomerol Right Bank), 100% Merlot, is one of the most expensive wines in the world.

Regions

Australia
Australia is new to Merlot (registered planting 1980s) but acreage grows fast.

Best areas: Coonawarra, Margaret River, McLaren Vale, and the Barossa Valley.

Argentina
Argentine terroirs have great potential. Best areas: Uco Valley and Patagonia.

Chile
Best areas: Apalta, Colchagua Valley.

France

First mentioned in 1784 by a Bordeaux officer.

Long considered a secondary grape (mostly blended) because it´s not easy to stand the competition with Cabernet Sauvignon!

In February 1956, a deep freeze hits France and Merlot and Malbec vinyards are destroyed.

After the frost comes a disease (rot) and a "Planting Ban" from French governement.

In 1975 the ban is lifted and planting of new vines starts again.

But they have to compete with hundred of years old vines of Bordeaux.

The increasing demand creates a planting boom in 1980s.

Italy
Merlot is the fifth most widely planted grape variety in Italy. In Tuscany it is blended to create Super Tuscan wines (Sassicaia, Tignanello).

Other regions: Alto Adige, Friuli, Veneto.

USA
California weather makes the grapes ripen fully.