Merlot is a dark blue–colored wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. It is the most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate.
Generally, Merlot wines are Medium to full body, with medium tannin and acidity, and plum, blueberry and chocolate aromas and Flavours.
Merlot wines tend to be two main styles. One emphasizes late harvesting to gain physiological ripeness and produce inky, purple colored wines that are full in body with high alcohol and lush, velvety tannins with intense, plum and blackberry fruit. While the traditional "Bordeaux style" of Merlot involves harvesting earlier to maintain acidity and producing more medium-bodied wines with moderate alcohol levels that have fresh, red fruit flavors (raspberries, strawberries) and potentially vegetal notes.
In St.Emilion and Pomerol regions of France, at its best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. It is also a key blending grape in the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves. In new world, Merlot is particularly successful in California, Chile and North Italy.