The 7th of November sees the world raise a glass and make a toast to one of the most noble of red grape varieties – Merlot. From early noted roots in Bordeaux it has spread its wings to every corner of the viticultural globe. Often used as a blending component but more than capable of holding interest whilst flying solo.
At Virgin Wines we have a great selection of reds made using Merlot and to show my appreciation I’ve picked a few of my favourites…
Highway 99 Merlot brings some funky Californian style to your table, where a dusty bottle of claret just will not do. Those cats at Bear Creek have taken the Bordeaux standard and juiced it up and we’ve wrapped it in a cool label to demonstrate how cutting edge you really are. The wine itself couldn’t be more approachable. It’s openly fruity, with lively red fruits and a ripe and easy nature. It’s what we like to call fleshy, it has lots of soft, juicy fruit. So it’s happy enough to be drunk without said table too, but equally relaxed with red meats.
This is an organic number from the team at Emiliana out in Chile. Their dedicated to working sustainably, crafting wines that are bursting with fruit and are a true expression of the land they came from. A wine packed with red fruit, plum jam and just a little herbal freshness to the finish.
It would be impossible to highlight wines made from Merlot without pointing to Saint Emilion. This stunning red comes from world-renowned vineyards on the right bank of the Gironde River in Bordeaux. A wine showing a sweet, ripe, voluptuous nose, richly fruited with a light dusting of spice. The palate has medium weight, with lively red fruits and exceptional balance. 2010 was a remarkable year for quality in Bordeaux. Here we are working in a satellite appellation around the main Saint Emilion region, Puisseguin. A winner with duck dishes, roast lamb and beef or a well loaded cheeseboard.
I’ll definitely be enjoying a glass or two of Merlot tonight and I hope many of you will be too.