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ThirtyFifty - Hens

Spotlight on Merlot

This show was published 24 September 2021

Overview

Merlot is Mr Medium or Average producing easy drinking wines, often red plum or black plum flavours. It is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and is the partner to Cab Sav in most Bordeaux Blends. It is used to soften out the blend. It is grown successfully all over the world and is an early budding and early ripening grape variety.

There are two main styles. The first style is known as the international style where the grapes are picked quite late giving more concentration but softer tannins.

It has supple skins making it easy to extract tannins and premium Merlots are often aged in oak barrels. Merlot's spiritual home is Bordeaux. In Pomerol and St Emilion, Merlot dominates and the grapes are picked earlier. Chris talks about the soils in Bordeaux and the styles and flavours of Merlot.

Merlot is also widely grown in the South of France, Spain, the USA - California and Washington State - South Africa (Cape Blend), Australia (often blended with Cab Sav), New Zealand.

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The music used for the UK Wine Show is Griffes de Jingle 1 by Marcel de la Jartèle and Silence by Etoile Noire.

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