Red variety - Merlot

  • General: The name is derived from the French "le Merle" , the blackbird, which according to tradition has a special preference for this early-ripening red wine variety. In the neighbouring country, Merlot has its historical roots in Bordeaux probably as early as the 15th century as a descendant of Cabernet Franc. In the 19th century, the variety was comprehensively described by Victor Rendu in his standard work "Ampélographie française". Due to its early ripeness, the wines reach aromatic and tannic physiological maturity even in the shorter growing season of the northern growing regions, which explains its popularity and area shares in Bordeaux. In addition to its positive growing characteristics, Merlot also demonstrates its sensory strengths. The variety does not impose itself ostensibly in cuvées, but supports the blending partners with its fullness, bright ruby-red colour and discreet tannin structure. Among the most expensive cult wines of Bordeaux are the high-class Merlot wines of "Chateau Pétrus". It is also a heavyweight in terms of cultivation. With a vineyard area of 200,000 ha, Merlot occupies sixth place in the world ranking of the most popular grape varieties.
  • Cluster: The typically cylindrically shaped, loose-berried grapes are medium-sized and partly shouldered. The round, thin-skinned berries are black-blue in colour and medium in size with juicy berry flesh.
  • Wine: Due to the moderate acid and tannin structure and high maturity, the wine shows itself full-bodied and round on the palate. Typical aromas range from black cherry and currant, ripe plum to dark chocolate and spicy aromas of clove and juniper berry.
  • Cultivation: The variety shows medium to strong growth and prefers deep soils with good water supply. Due to its early budding, Merlot is highly susceptible to May frost and rather moderate in frost resistance. On warm, early and well-supplied sites, an early to medium ripening window, possibly very high yields and high alcohol contents can be expected. Parallel to the early ripening, the acidity drops rapidly with increasing ripeness.
Classic clones, high yield
  • INRA 184, INRA 349, INRA 519
Classic clones, medium yield
  • INRA 182, INRA 314
  • INRA 342, INRA 346
  • INRA 348
Classic clones, low yield
  • INRA 181, INRA 343, INRA 347

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