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.
Merlot was one of several red grape vines originally brought from France to Chile in the 19th century and quickly adapted to the country’s perfect terroir for growing Bordeaux varieties. Similar to California, Merlot produced in Chile is known as “Warm-Climate Merlot” and shares a similar flavor profile. These grapes tend to be heavier on the fruit notes with a strong tannic character.
Our Chile Merlot is a medium-bodied red with flavors of blackberry, cherry, and vanilla. A dry red wine with medium oak character and an alcohol content of 13%. The Merlot wine kit 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 Original 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.