Ex-Château

Merlot in Australia is not a variety you will often see unblended, until recently. It is most often used to add suppleness and mid-palate to Cabernet’s stern, serious structure. In Australia, Merlot is now achieving considerable recognition as a varietal wine. Merlot blended wines are available from the warmer inland regions, such as Riverina, Riverland and Murray Darling. Single varietal Merlot from the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale produces a softer dry plummy wine. Whereas the cooler climates such as the Yarra Valley and Margaret River tends to take on more savoury characters with firmer tannins.

It is the most widely planted grape in Bordeaux, France where planting has rapidly expanded throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils, is relatively simple to cultivate and is a naturally high yielding. In St Emilion and Pomerol, it withstands the moist clay-rich soils far better than Cabernet, producing opulently rich, plummy wines. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of some of the best (and most expensive) Merlot based wines.

Merlot is now grown in virtually all wine growing countries and is particularly successful in New Zealand, California, Chile and Northern Italy. New Zealand's Hawkes Bay is producing outstanding Merlot-based blends, especially from the Gimblett Gravels.
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  1. Chateau Saintayme 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    From the team of Denis Durantou, the 2018 Saintayme (100% Merlot brought up in 30% new oak) is a total charmer that savvy readers should snatch up. Offering full-bodied notes of black raspberries, kirsch, and spice box, it has silky tannins, a terrific ... Learn More
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    James Suckling
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    Jeb Dunnuck
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    Vinous
  2. Chateau Petrus 1970 (Ex-Chateau, delivery 4 months)
    The panoply of exotic aromas and flavors typically encompasses black raspberry, mulberry, iron, cocoa powder, truffle and expensive new oak. Petrus bottlings are generally 100% Merlot, although some vintages will contain 2-3% of Cabernet Franc. The vineyard itself is planted to 95% ... Learn More
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