Merlot is a red wine grape variety that appeared in the 18th century in southwestern France, and more specifically in the north of Aquitaine area.
In general, it is planted on fresh clay-limestone soils. It regularly needs water and barely supports droughts. It is mostly found on its favorite terroir, in Pomerol and St. Emilion. By the way, it is referenced in a well-known château Pétrus, consisting 95% of merlot.
Merlot is well-adapted to moderate climates and prefers hot summers. However, it is less adapted to early spring frosts, mostly due to its thin skin.
Merlot grapes are small and black. They are characterized by a very dark color and fine density. The flavors are those of red berries (strawberry, raspberry, cherry and currant). With age, the flavors change to prune, spices, leather and undergrowth.
In the mouth, Merlot is characterized by supple tanins, strong taste, rather high alcohol content and dark color.
Merlot wine is a near-perfect red wine, a structured one, revealing much complexity and rich maturing capacity. It makes a good mix with cabernet sauvignon. You can find it in multiple fine wines of Bordeaux.
Thanks to its flexibility, Merlot grows in Languedoc, as well as in Northern America, Chili, Italy and Central Europe.
In France it occupies the surface of 115000 hectares, compared to 25000 in 1968.
Merlot is a grape variety which is used only for wine production.