Mad About Merlot

Posted on by Still Waters Vineyards

October is Merlot month and we thought this would be a perfect time to revisit some of the reasons why Merlot is one of Still Waters’ most beloved varietal. Hailing from the Bordeaux region of France, it is one of the region’s (and the world’s) more widely planted grape. The name Merlot is thought to derive from the old French word merle for the black birds that liked to eat the juicy grapes from the vine. Known for ripening early, having soft tannins and lush fruit flavors, Merlot is tremendously popular both as a standalone or blended with other Bordeaux grapes- most notably Cabernet Sauvignon.

When Paul and Pat bought the ranch, they came into possession of established Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines. Over the years, Paul has grafted on more varietals, but the Merlot has and will always be a mainstay here. Paul even lovingly refers to it as his “Cab-Merlot” because of the character and structure that our estate grown Merlot displays. We have bottled a Merlot standalone each year since 2004 and we have a Merlot-based blend called Clone 3 Cuvee that is one of our best sellers.

We find that Merlot is one of the most approachable and affordable red wines on the market. With flavors of spicy red plum, black cherry, cocoa, and anise tempered with delicate tannins and medium acid, our Merlot lends itself to a variety of pairings or is excellent enjoyed on its own. We love to pair our Merlot with a classic roast chicken, meatloaf, Thanksgiving dinner, or a dark chocolate cake.

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