Merlot is the most widespread grape variety in the world together with Cabernet Sauvignon. The grape originates from the south-west of France . It is the most used in its original area. Bourdeaux. Traditionally it has also been cultivated in Italy.
Not only is it the majority in these areas, but due to its fame, it has spread worldwide and today it is one of the most planted in the world, Austalia, America (Chile, Argentina, California) and of course in Eastern Europe and Spain in particular.
In our country it is found, above all, in La Mancha, Huesca, Catalonia and Navarra and it is beginning to be planted in the south, Andalusia.
2- Characteristics of the merlot grape:
Medium to small in size, medium compact, with marked shoulders and an elongated conical shape.
In some clones the bunch is very elongated and in others it is very short, with a peduncle of medium length and little lignification. The scrape is very colored.
Small, rounded-elliptical, of very uniform size in the bunch. Of difficult detachment from its pedicel.
With thick skin and blue-black color.
With unpigmented pulp , consistent but juicy, with a peculiar flavor.
High vigor, with an upright to semi-upright bearing that turns to lying down if it is not well driven, with a high tendency to sprout wood buds and suckers. It has few bunches. Good fertility and low production.
Early outbreak and mid-season maturation that can be altered with different areas and ambient temperatures.
3- Characteristics of the merlot strain, agricultural and climatic:
- Variety not very sensitive to wood diseases.
- Very sensitive to mildew and botrytis in ripening and over-ripening , having few attacks on the vegetation.
- Resistant to powdery mildew.
- Bastante sensible al Black-Rot.
- Sensitive to leafhoppers and mites.
- It has a certain sensitivity to spring frosts . Its wood is sensitive to the strong winter cold.
- Good adaptation to different types of soils .
- Poorly adapted to drought, although it can be adapted with a drought-resistant rootstock or by drip cultivation.
- It requires cool and not very hot climates since in these it soon loses its acidity and its tannic balance.
- It requires a strong potassium fertilizer and responds very well to boron, which reduces berry drift.
- It is not very sensitive to the desiccation of the spine . Trellis driving is recommended to support your vegetation.
- Works great with Guyot pruning of seven or eight buds.
- It matures relatively early, a few days after the tempranillo.
4- Oenological potential of red wine with merlot grape:
- These red wine grapes have high resveratrol content, which makes them very attractive for varietal wines.
- With very intense and dark color.
- Its musts have a high sugar content and are not very acidic.
- It is a very suitable variety for the production of young wines.
- It gives a complete wine, round with body, relatively alcoholic and not very acidic.
- It does not have high tannin content and these are very soft, with aromas of plums and flowers such as roses.
- Easy to drink wines, which do not need long in the barrel to show their potential.
- It is also reminiscent of spices such as cassia, ripe olives and baked bread and even pastry with fruit.
- His wine made in coupage with other varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon enhances the qualities of both.
- Complex and elegant intense aroma. It is a classy wine and one of the best valued in the world.
5- Merlot wine tasting. Organoleptic characteristics.
– The wines are characterized by having a certain coloring intensity, high degree and light fruity and spicy aromas.
– With this variety you can make soft, alcoholic wines but respecting the acidity and tannin.
– Merlot wines accept aging in oak barrels very well.
– Merlot grape broths stand out for their spicy and fruity flavors such as berries, mint and raisins or red berries.
The wines obtained with this variety have an intense ruby color with attractive violet hues.
Its aromas cover a wide range of nuances: cassis, currants, blackberries, red fruits in general, pepper, violet, truffles and leather.
Merlot is pleasant in the mouth. Fine, elegant and velvety wines, with marked flavors of plum, raisin, mint and honey.
6- Merlot pairing.
– To pair this type of wine, it is best to accompany it with powerful and tasty dishes.
– Fish: We have always heard that fish always pair better with whites, so if we intend to have a merlot with fish, it must be a tasty fish with a fatty composition, such as salmon, tuna, bonito or cod.
– In the case of rice, a powerful, full-bodied rice, accompanied with a merlot wine is a very pleasant pairing.
– Due to its alcoholic strength, red meat and game are the best pairing.
– To pair with cheese, the powerful cheeses, blue, brie, cheddar, cured manchegos …