It is inexpensive and globally revered.
What is it famous for?
Inexpensive, commercial New World Merlot may have given the grape somewhat of a bad reputation, but Merlot is almost entirely responsible for one of Bordeaux’s most revered wines: Château Petrus.
The name Merlot is thought to have derived from merle, French for blackbird, since its colouring is similar to the grape.
Where does it grow?
It is a mainstay in Bordeaux, where it is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Cabernet Franc, but it also grows widely in Italy-Friuli, and Tuscany.
It is prevalent in the US, Australia and Chile, too. As an early ripening grape, it is suitable for cooler climates, but wines from warmer climates have a bolder, fruity character.
What does it taste like?
Merlot generally produces medium-bodied wines and tends to have notes of plum, blueberry and chocolate with relatively soft tannins.
Tastes great with:
Chicken and Mushroom Casserole or Spaghetti Bolognese.
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