Classic aromas of Merlot are: Black Plum, Black Cherry, Blueberry, Licorice, Chocolate and Coffee
Merlot is a red grape variety from Bordeaux in France. It was mentioned first in 1783 in a note describing the ‘excellent wine’s made from this grape. Merlot’s parents are Cabernet Franc and a grape called Raisin de la Madeleine – a grape that dates back to the Middle Ages.
Merlot is grown and known all over the world and is more widely planted that any of red wine grape. It is the most planted grape in France with 115,746ha which is spread across regions including the Loire, Southwest and Southern France but it most important in Bordeaux. Though often a grape that is used in blends to add smooth tannins and richness of flavour and colour, when used solely or as the main component of a blend it shines. It can produce velvety wines like those of Pomerol’s top houses: Chateau Petrus, Pavie and Cheval Blanc.
Thanks to the popularity of the ‘Bordeaux blend’ Merlot has been planted anywhere Cabernet Sauvignon has been taken. Thus it makes up large plantings in Italy, Turkey, Lebanon, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, China, New Zealand, USA, Chile, South Africa.
Merlot produces wines that have a deep ruby colour, medium-full body and smooth tannins. Depending on where in the world you are Merlot can have a range of flavours associated with it. Generalised flavours are black cherry, blueberry, blackcurrants, black plums, damsons and cocoa. With oak matured wines you will also find flavours of fruitcake, cinnamon, clove, truffle, cigar box and licorice.