Merlot is extraordinary in its flexibility, able to be paired with many different grapes to create magnificent blends, but easily stands on its own in varietal wines. Sometimes mistaken for Cabernet Sauvignon in blind tastings, the two grapes are both descendents of Cabernet Franc and can display similar flavors and textures, although Merlot is known for being softer and less tannic. Aromas and flavors include blackberry, cassis, baked cherries, dark chocolate and mocha, among others. Merlot ranks as the second most-widely grown grape in the world, but reigns supreme in the Médoc district of Bordeaux.
California-grown Merlot grapes produce what is known as “Warm-Climate Merlot”, which is the category that Merlot grown in Australia and Argentina also fall under. These grapes tend to be heavier on the fruit notes and lighter in body. Due to the lower tannin levels and softer finish, some vitners employ a longer oak-aging process to give the wine more structure.
Our California Merlot is a full-bodied red characterized with flavors of black cherry, tobacco, and mint. With an alcohol content of 13%, this wine has a dry chocolate finish with a medium oak character. Includes medium toast American oak chips. Medium toast oak is the most popular toast level used in red wines as it imparts a complex balance of vanillin and spice. American oak is famous for providing classic oak aromas.
The VineCo Estate Merlot is not to be sequestered to the dinner table. This is a wine you want to pack up and take with you on a picnic. Enjoy with the sun overhead, a light breeze at your back, and a charcuterie board within arm’s reach. At supper time, you may find Merlot to be the perfect compliment to grilled beef burgers or a freshly chopped Caesar salad.