#newwinethisweek Week 27 – Merlot, Chile
We haven’t had a hefty red for a while on #newwinethisweek so this week we’ll rectify that situation as we go for one of the wine-world’s forgotten super-heroes. This week we will learn to love Merlot again.
Merlot has had a hard time in the past decade; especially after the unfair hammering it took in the film Sideways! But there really is nothing to dislike; Merlot produces soft-textured fruity wines that are ever so drinkable and match with any red meat. The way I see it, if it’s good enough for Petrus then it’s good enough for you and me!
We could have gone to the home of Merlot on the right bank of Bordeaux but #newwinethisweek is all about expanding our horizons; over the past couple of years I have come across some excellent examples of Merlots in Chile. We covered Chile in week 2 of #newwinethisweek when we took a look at Carménère but it’s time to return and discover what Chilean Merlot has to offer.
Merlot is the second most planted red grape in Chile with just over 10,000 hectares under vine; the most popular is the ubiquitous Cabernet Sauvignon with 40,000ha, Carmémère comes in third at 9,000ha. Merlot is planted in all of Chile’s wine regions and produces fruity, vibrant and often brilliant wines. The texture is certainly not as full bodied as some of the big Californian Merlots on the market, instead these are wines of fruit and elegance are more akin to those of Pommerol… big statement!
I am looking forward to trying a few of these wines and have secured a couple of bottles from the Echeverria estate to see how Merlot works with and without oak. The great news is that there is plenty of choice out there on the supermarket shelves and a very attractive price too. Get yourself a bottle and let us know what you think!
You know the drill by now, grab a bottle and tell us what you think!