Merlot, or far more properly Merlot Noir (as there is a Merlot Blanc) is quickly turning out to be a single of the most sought soon after red wine varieties, many thanks to Bordeaux’s Pomerol and Saint-Emilion wines. It has an practically cult standing in California, where by far more concentrated Bordeaux-fashion wines are manufactured. It is also on the maximize in Australia, New Zealand Chile and even South Africa.
Merlot is the most typically developed grape wide variety in France, and is 1 of the most extensively planted in Bordeaux. It is a grape assortment that has been on a large enlargement push in the course of the earth in the earlier 10 decades. Merlot wines can be explained as being clean and prosperous with forest fruit aromas and flavours of plums, blackcurrants and damsons.
What would make Merlot so specific?
- It is adaptable to most soils and can stand up to moist, clayey soils much better than Cabernet Sauvignon.
- In the vineyard it buds and bouquets early ensuing in an earlier harvest.
- It is a moderately vigorous high yielding grape range that necessitates fairly a whole lot of summer season pruning. This is good from the winegrowers point of watch, but not always in the eyes of the wine drinkers. Bigger yields typically signify decreased top quality. So it is important to decide on the grapes at optimum ripeness otherwise varietal characteristics will be dropped. Practical winegrowers will control yields to achieve additional top quality.
- It responds to barrel oak ageing really perfectly. When the wine has been in oak for some time notes of caramel, chocolate, espresso bean and vanilla will show.
- It is a really fruity wine with a great physique and lessen tannins, perfect for a single varietal wine. It also has terrific alluring qualities for blending with much more tannic wines. So the softness from the Merlot will help to make a sophisticated blend with the harshness of the Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Merlot matures in the bottle before than Cabernet Sauvignon, so it does not require to be laid down in a cellar to soften compared with the harsher wines. This is what makes it desirable to many wine drinkers who like to obtain a wine and drink it right away, relatively than lay it down for several yrs. We are not as affected individual as our forebears – or maybe we won’t be able to afford to wait around!
In get to stay clear of the major downside of excessive yields, Merlot needs a reasonably interesting microclimate. It is now developed in just about all wine rising countries and is particularly successful in California, Chile and Northern Italy.
What food pairs well with Merlot?
The a little harsher Merlots with more extreme flavours pair nicely with grilled and charred meats – a little something like ‘Grilled Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic’ would be fantastic. The softer, fruitier Merlots from cooler climate areas go effectively with salmon or mushroom based dishes or even just one like ‘Spiced Duck Breasts’. At the other end of the scale, the softer, lighter bodied Merlots pair properly with shellfish like prawns or scallops wrapped in bacon or even straight ahead macaroni cheese.
Far more about Merlot
A wine buyer describing what the accomplishment of Merlot was down to explained,
“It specifically matches the preferred fashionable drinking model, simply because it helps make wines that have sweet, ripe fruit and are pleasant and sleek.”
Jancis Robinson from ‘The Oxford Companion to Wine, 3rd Edition’ states,
“Merlot is now so well-liked throughout the world that it competes only with Cabernet Sauvignon as the most planted dim-skinned grape assortment overall.”
One particular of Bordeaux’s most famous wines, Château Petrus, whose charges almost usually exceed £500 a bottle, is nearly completely created from Merlot.
The perfect serving temperature for Merlot is 63°F / 17°C.
Merlot is really substantially an all spherical wine and with globe winery plantings on the maximize, we are going to see a great deal much more from this functional grape selection.