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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 - Robert Parker
90pts - James Halliday
“One of the finest Australian Merlots I have ever tasted is Haan’s 2001 Merlot Prestige. Aged in 100% French wood (one-third new), with 10% Cabernet Franc added to the blend, this dense purple-colored Merlot is loaded. A serious nose of mocha, espresso roast, black cherry liqueur, plums, & figs soars from this full-bodied, ripe, layered, rich, chewy 2001. It is a sensational Merlot.” - Robert Parker
“Abundant dark fruits on both bouquet & palate; good structure and density.” - James Halliday
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.
Petit Martin is from the Graves property of Chateau Saint Martin and is classified as a Bordeaux Superieur, produced from 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, this wine has a wonderful bouquet of red fruits and vanilla with hints of spice, in the mouth it has plenty of ripe red fruits with soft tannins and a roundness that comes from the soft aging in aok barrels.great to drink on its own or with a variety of meats or pasta.