Merlot, France

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.
Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More-so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
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  1. CHATEAU PETIT PICORON BORDEAUX 2016
    Founded in 1570 by the Picoron family, Château Picoron has a long history of wine. Now days, Château Picoron is operated by an Australian family. What we produce is as much a celebration of the history of our winery, ... Learn More
  2. CHATEAU FRANC MAYNE 2019 (EN PRIMEUR - DELIVERY 2022)
    A Grand Cru Classe of Saint-Emilion, Chateau Franc Mayne enjoys an exceptional location in the prestigious appellation. Owned by the Savare family since 2018, Chateau Franc Mayne is enjoying a great momentum of renewal. The property is beautifully represented by the ... Learn More
    pts
    Decanter
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    Wine Enthusiast
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    Antonio Galloni
    pts
    The Wine Advocate
    Out of stock
  3. CHATEAU LA CONSEILLANTE 2008 ARRIVING MARCH 2021
    An exquisite bouquet of incense, raspberry jam, kirsch, licorice, and hints of black olives as well as flowers. This broadly perfumed Pomerol exhibits sensational purity, sweet tannin, medium to full body, and outstanding elegance and finesse. ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
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    Neal Martin
  4. CHATEAU LA CONSEILLANTE 2005 ARRIVING MARCH 2021
    "The fruit is forward and precocious, but there is enough stuffing, structure, and density for the wine to evolve for 20-25 years." 96 pts Robert Parker ... Learn More
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    James Suckling
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    Decanter
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    Jeb Dunnuck
  5. CHATEAU PETRUS 1971
    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
    CHATEAU PETRUS 1971
    $7,000.00 Per item
    Out of stock
  6. CHATEAU PETRUS 2016
    The 2016 Pétrus just coats the tongue right away with alluring raspberry and loganberry fruit, full of spice aromas and a gorgeous anise streak. A black tea note echoes through the finish, which is broad and rich yet defined and, ... Learn More
    CHATEAU PETRUS 2016
    $7,500.00 Per item
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    pts
    James Suckling
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    Jeannie Cho Lee MW
    Out of stock
  7. CHATEAU PETRUS 1990
    The 1990 Petrus remains incredibly young, one of the least evolved wines of the vintage (along with Montrose and Beausejour-Duffau). This dense ruby/purple-colored effort is beginning to hint at the massive richness and full-bodied intensity lurking beneath its wall of ... Learn More
    CHATEAU PETRUS 1990
    $12,000.00 Per item
    pts
    Jeannie Cho Lee MW
    Out of stock
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