Grape Vari­ety: Merlot

Geog­ra­phy: Mainly South­ern France, North East Italy, East­ern Europe and New World, espe­cially California.

Viti­cul­ture: An early ripen­ing grape. In Bor­deaux, grown widely on heav­ier soils where Caber­net Sauvi­gnon is slow to ripen.

Varietal/Blend: Used in Bor­deaux and all over the world to soften Caber­net Sauvi­gnon based wines.

Fla­vor & Char­ac­ter: Juicy, fruity fla­vors of black­cur­rant, black cherry and mint.

Vini­fi­ca­tion: As for Caber­net Sauvi­gnon: Fer­mented in stain­less steel or oak. Fer­men­ta­tion tem­per­a­ture not crit­i­cal because of robust­ness of grape. Matured in old or new oak. In other regions it is often cool fer­mented when used as a varietal.

Style: Sub­tle, soft and vel­vety. Lower in tan­nic bit­ter­ness and higher in alco­hol than Caber­net Sauvignon.

Body, Dry/Sweet: Soft, often com­plex texture.

Notes: Great wines of Pomerol and St Emil­ion in Bor­deaux are based on Merlot.