The origin of the Merlots name means “young blackbird,” describing the deep purple color of grapes.
Like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot is widely planted and found in California, also in Washinton State, which makes some fantastic examples. South America, Hungary, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Croatia, Romania, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, and Italy.
Great on its own, Merlot lends itself to be a tremendous asset in blended wines. Of course, France in Bordeaux, especially the right bank consisting of Pomerol and Saint Emilion. In Italy’s in the Friuli region, and all over Australia and Washington.
Impact of the movie Sideways
In one sentence, the movie Sideways obliterated Merlot! “I am not, and F###### Merlot” for many, ended a lot of love for the wine. Conversely, the wine stated as “The day you open a ’61 Cheval Blanc—that’s a Special occasion.” is mainly Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The first choice, Chateau Petrus Pomerol a rare and expensive wine made of 95% Merlot received a fax that it did not think much of so it did not respond. By using a Bordeaux wine, the thought was it would mitigate the disdain Miles had for Merlot. Many found it too subtle.
After the release of the movie, Merlot, already in sales decline was impacted further while Pinot Noir Sales were up by 16%.
Like all other wines grapes, Merlot is a product of its environment.
The cool climate makes wine consisting of strawberries, some cherry, and herbs. Warm climates evoke notes of chocolate, smoke, and plum. Oak can also add influence with subtle cedar, smoke, and cigar box,
Merlot the Summertime Wine!
Not as dense Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot does fit a lot of rules when in need of a bigger wine! Grill-friendly and able to please a range of palates. It is time to let Merlot seek center-stage. You will not be disappointed!