Merlot has to be one of the most widely grown varietals around the world. It’s everywhere – France, Italy, Spain, U.S.A, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand – to name a few! However, Merlot is perhaps best known as a Right-Bank Bordeaux wine. Appellations such as Saint-Emilion and Pomerol have produced Merlot-dominant wines for hundreds of years, with Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau Petrus being two of the most celebrated.
Despite being much-maligned in the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot has stayed popular as both a single varietal wine and in blends, due to its versatility and potential. In cool climates, the flavour profile tends to be red berries with light plum and leafy, vegetal notes. In warm climates, the wines express much darker fruit – blackberries, dark plum and black cherry. With naturally soft tannins and a fleshy mid-palate, Merlot is perfectly suited to blending with more structural varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.