Merlot as a Pure Wine or Cuvee Partner
Originally, the Merlot red wine derives from Bordeaux and belongs to the most popular types of wine worldwide. This grape carries its name due to the fact that blackbirds (‘merle’ in French) prefer this early ripening grape variety. Winemakers also like Merlot grapes as they ripen quickly and are therefore less prone to colder climate or suboptimal soils. Yet the early budding makes the grape susceptible to frost. Like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot derives from the red vine Cabernet Franc and therefore harmonises well with this related variety. This is why Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon constitute the most important elements of the famous Bordeaux Blend. Merlot is also enjoyed as a single grape wine.
Merlot Becomes Popular with Style Variety
The Merlot grape is mainly known for its silky-soft structure and velvety finish. It delivers medium heavy, storable red wines that keep fresh for decades and reveal their full character with age. Generally, Merlot red wines smell and taste of blackberries or plums; earthy notes can occur in Bordeaux and the development in oak barrels sometimes leads to creamy vanilla notes. Enjoyed at an early stage, wine lovers can also detect grassy notes. In the USA, Chile and Australia, the grape makes for soft tannins and luscious, strong red wines, whilst Merlot from South Africa, Italy and Argentina is not less good, but is a noticeably lighter, palatable red wine.
Merlot from South Africa
Within the last twenty years, the grape has experienced a rapid rise in South Africa. Merlot only used to have little importance for winemakers; today, they use it for excellent cuvees or pure wines. Wine lovers can find and enjoy interesting Merlot from South Africa in our great wine range at Taste South Africa.