MERLOT

Merlot - RedMountain WineGrapesDirect.jp

PLACE OF ORIGIN

Bordeaux, France

GROWING CLIMATES

Moderate

Warm

BERRY DETAILS

Thick Skins

High Anthocyanin

Moderate Berries

PARENTAGE

Cabernet Franc x

Magdeleine Noire des Charentes

HALF SIBLINGS

Cabernet Sauvignon

Carmenère

Cot

Hondarribi Beltza

Ruby Cabernet

OFFSPRING

Merlot Blanc

PREFERRED SOIL

Clay

Limestone

IN THE VINEYARD

Early Budding

Mid Ripening

Vigorous

SUSCEPTIBILITY

Coulure

Downy Mildew

Frost 

Photo Courtesy of Wine Grapes Direct

OTHER MERLOT WINES

Merlot is commonly blended with other varieties, and as such, may not always be labeled.

 The following are known for including Merlot:

BORDEAUX

Bordeaux is a region in France that is known for blends with Merlot. "Right Bank" wines such as St. Emilion and Pomerol are typically Merlot dominant.

MERITAGE

Meritage is a term created in California for Bordeaux style wines. The blends may only include Bordeaux varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

MERLOT STYLES

Merlot is a popular blending partner due to its soft, lush palate, fruit forward notes, and velvety tannins. Oak treatment is very common for Merlot, adding secondary notes of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, baking spices, and more to the wines.  

MODERATE CLIMATE

Merlot grown in a moderate climate typically exhibit these characteristics:

FLAVORS

PLUM

RED CHERRY

CHOCOLATE

FERN

STRUCTURE

 

BODY

Moderate to Full

 

TEXTURE

Lean to Round

ACIDITY

Elevated

TANNIN

Elevated

ALCOHOL

Elevated

MAJOR REGIONS

BORDEAUX

COLUMBIA VALLEY

SONOMA

FRIULI

RAPEL VALLEY

HAWKE'S BAY

MARGARET RIVER

WARM CLIMATE

Merlot grown in a warm climate typically exhibit these characteristics:

FLAVORS

DARK PLUM

RASPBERRY

SAGE

MOCHA

STRUCTURE

BODY

Full

TEXTURE

Round

ACIDITY

Moderate

TANNIN

Moderate

ALCOHOL

High

MAJOR REGIONS

LANGUEDOC

NAPA VALLEY

TUSCANY

CENTRAL VALLEY

SOUTH EASTERN

STELLENBOSCH

COMMON WINEMAKING TECHNIQUES

 

NEW OAK CONTACT:

Often in the form of a barrel, however, oak chips may be used to recreate the effect of using barrels in a fraction of the time and cost. This contact can occur during fermentation and/or aging. The higher the char on the oak, the more flavor imparted into the wine. These flavors often consist of smoke, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, baking spices, and more. 

IMPORTANT MERLOT CLONES (A-Z)

CLONE 1:

Sourced from the Inglenook Vineyard in Napa Valley. More resistant to harsh winters.

CLONE 3:

Sourced from the Inglenook Vineyard in Napa Valley. Larger berries and clusters. Produces consistent ripening and yields in vineyards with limited water availability. Thrives in rocky, mountain vineyards.

CLONE 8:

A clone gaining traction in Australia. Originating in Mendoza, Argentina. Earlier ripening with moderate yields.

CLONE 181:

A low-yielding clone originating in France that is prone to lower sugar,  higher acidity, and higher extract levels. Known for producing age worthy wines.

CLONE 348:

A higher yielding clone with high anthocyanins originating in France. Performs well in warmer climates and exhibits blue fruited characteristics. Also known as FPS 14.

D3V14:

The most planted clone in Australia. Arrived from UC Davis in 1965 and thought to be originally from the Inglenook Vineyard in Napa Valley, although origins are unknown. A finicky clone that needs attention to perform and produce quality wines.