12 Secrets of Merlot

Discover why Merlot was banned in France and more


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It is a member of the Bordeaux family

Merlot is part of the family that includes the many grapes referred to as Bordeaux varieties. In fact, researchers at the University of California at Davis believe that Merlot is the offspring of one (Cabernet Franc) and the sister of both Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère.

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  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 5,000

    Good one, Greg. Can we assume we'll be seeing similar slideshows on other varietals, as well?

    Was it a paper cup or styrofoam cup in that diner for Miles? I liked thinking about how the wine would be eating into the styrofoam, since I ran a few impromptu experiments as a kid leaving coke in a styrofoam cup over time (yeah, I did the nail in the cokebottle, too). Not that Miles in his meltdown would've left the Cheval Blanc sitting in the cup too long. I guess the scriptwriter and director felt chugging directly from the bottle would've been a bit too much....

    Oct 11, 2010 at 3:12 PM

  • Snooth User: Cbrown63
    292332 53

    I have nver been a big fan of 100% Merlots. However, I just had a bottle of the 2007 Plump Jack Merlot and it was outstanding. Huge body, deep dark fruit and a long finish....although it does posses some serious tannins for a Merlot.

    Oct 11, 2010 at 3:32 PM

  • Snooth User: lennysb
    377857 2

    Merlot is one of the great grapes and makes superb wine when grown in the right place. But I was in napa and drunk some local merlot - its the only $40 bottle of wine I have never finished - sweet soup, presumabley made for tourists? Not this tourist. Merlot from Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand (where I'm from) - racy acidity and precise fruit, or how about St. Emillion and Pomerol for great red wine made predominantly from merlot.

    Oct 11, 2010 at 4:41 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Thanks DM,

    I think once every 2 weeks or so we'll see another secrets of round up!

    Lenny, Gimblett Gravels is one of the most exciting regions for Bordeaux varietals in my opinion. Loved what I've tried so far, Syrah as well. You guys down there better watch it though, with great Pinot, Chardonnay and now Bordeaux blends the temptation to come on down for a spell gets greater and greater.

    Oct 11, 2010 at 4:44 PM

  • Merlot is the star that once had a bad review and was relegated to be part of the chorus on some of the big numbers but never again as a soloist. that is, until one day somebody discovered her in a little corner and Cinderella was out of the shadows and into the limelight. Noble, supple, by her own rights and uniqueness. If you are still not convinced, try some New York finger lakes Merlot or some of the older Merlots from New Zealand. Don't miss them!!

    Ulises Sanchez
    Wonderful World of Wine

    Oct 11, 2010 at 5:08 PM

  • Snooth User: rmahrjr
    555161 14

    Unrelated comment -- why do labels peel off my wine bottles after 3-4 weeks in my wine cooler? I keep the temperature at 59 deg F.

    Oct 11, 2010 at 8:46 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    You must be in a humid area. It's the condensation that is doing that. Every time you open the door you're letting in moisture laden air that then condenses on the cool bottles. I've taken to wrapping my bottles in saran wrap. It helps keep the labels with the bottles!

    Oct 11, 2010 at 8:50 PM

  • We have the movie, Sideways to thank for lower prices for pretty tastey Merlot. Right Bank Bordeaux's, Washington State, even California is producing some good Merlots. Merlot & chocolate is delicious. I also am a fan of Pinot Noir, another Sideways effect for sure.

    Oct 11, 2010 at 9:51 PM

  • Snooth User: rmahrjr
    555161 14

    Thanks for idea about wrapping bottles in saran wrap. However, this is the first time I have heard that San Diego weather is humid!

    Oct 11, 2010 at 10:28 PM

  • Snooth User: jvoytko
    449822 4

    Greg, I have been sending this link to a few of my younger friends who are just starting to want to learn more about different varietals. Heck, I learned some things. Thank you. Please do more of these.

    Oct 11, 2010 at 10:55 PM

  • Snooth User: pprass
    501211 15

    I have always referred to Merlot as a "girls drink" - not as a disparaging comment, but because it has a soft finish (no tannins?) and women especially go for it as compared to the more astringent Cabernet Sauvignon for instance. BTW - I also have a few male friends who mainly drink Merlot for the same reason!
    In Australia, we rarely get a deep complex 100% Merlot wine unless we pay premium prices. Most are soft easy drinking without a great deal of character.

    Oct 12, 2010 at 3:40 AM

  • Snooth User: Clairette
    158405 3

    Wish I'd known about the white merlot when I gave a talk on white wines from black grapes (and the red wines also made from them). Pinot noir both fizzy and still featured, but other than that I was stuck with wine blends with a small percentage of juice from the red grape, and slightly "blush" wines - zinfandel, a Bardolino Chiaretto.

    Out of curiosity, does anyone know any others?

    Oct 12, 2010 at 11:01 AM

  • Snooth User: hapy girl
    586361 13

    Does anyone know where I can find Firefly Ridge Merlot?

    Oct 12, 2010 at 11:31 AM

  • Snooth User: cazzie
    189309 64

    Just google Firefly Ridge Merlot . There are a number of locations

    Oct 12, 2010 at 2:02 PM

  • Snooth User: hapy girl
    586361 13

    Thanks Cazzie!

    Oct 12, 2010 at 2:23 PM

  • Snooth User: blaye
    328640 1

    had anyone tasted a fantastic 2004 Merlot made in Israel by KATLAV winery in the Jerusalem hills?

    Oct 12, 2010 at 4:49 PM

  • Snooth User: lennysb
    377857 2

    Gary you should definately come to New Zealand! You could even drop in on that small australian wine area; pprass is right, merlot is not suited to the aussy climate generally. The merlot ends up bland. For me it's the same with all grape varieties, I want them "just" to be able to ripen, not over ripen, which is why bordeaux is so interesting. Re: NZ pinots, I reckon some of them (Bendigo, Cromwell) can be a bit over ripe and lacking in vine age for now (a bit jammy and simple) try Alexandra/Earnscleaugh area (Three Miners is good) for older vines and more complexity (although the wine making isn't as sharp). Also Rippon from Wanaka, it may not be a block buster but its my favourite pinot for now. It reminds me of a Sanata Barbara wine I once had (J. Wilkes 2003 Bien Nacido Vineyard Block Q Pinot Noir). Balanced, complex, deep, interesting.

    Oct 12, 2010 at 4:54 PM

  • Snooth User: drinkersdigest
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    273391 137

    No mention of Petrus?!

    Oct 14, 2010 at 5:59 AM

  • Snooth User: snapch23
    2181817 28

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    Jul 25, 2018 at 1:37 PM

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