The Astor Wines & Spirits Glossary

Merlot

The next time you hear someone say they never touch Merlot, tell them that it's too bad, because you were just about to open a few bottles of Château Pétrus and Le Pin, and you have no one to share them with. Some wine drinkers are quick to dismiss varieties that become too fashionable, but Merlot is popular for good reason. It has one of the most impressive and distinctive textures of any wine, and has long been prized for the "softening" effect it can have on Cabernet Sauvignon - especially in the noble and famed Bordeaux blends. Pomerol and St.-Émilion, to name just two of Bordeaux's famous right-bank appellations, produce Merlot-based blends. As a pure varietal wine, Merlot is easy-drinking and fruity, and usually meant to be enjoyed within a few years of bottling. California and Washington state make some of the best Merlot varietals.
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