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Merlot /Cabernet Franc - NZ- USA


Merlot has had a rough time over the past few years. Once everyone’s favorite easy-drinking red, Merlot was stigmatized by Miles’ famous line in Sideways: “We are not drinking any %^@#ing Merlot!” So, what were we drinking before we had this group infatuation with Pinot Noir then? Well, it was Merlot!

So, where is Merlot today? It’s a good question and one the savvy consumer should be asking. All the attention that had once been focused on Merlot, but quickly switched allegiances, left Merlot producers oversupplied for the marketplace. You know what that generally means: falling prices as production exceeds demand and increased quality as lands that may have been over-cropped or irrationally planted to Merlot get budded over to more valuable varieties or farmed for quality over quantity

Today, Merlot is seeing something of a restoration of its reputation. With less bad Merlot on the market, consumers can finally begin to understand not only the grape but the styles that California is capable of -- not to mention Washington, Chile, South Africa… you name it. This sampling of Merlot was quite narrow, with just a few from outside California but offers up a little something for just about everybody. Merlot remains an easy-drinking, crowd-pleasing wine, though there are wines that test the limits from rich and powerfully extracted to elegant and exceptionally refined. The only trick here is finding the one you like
Snooth February 2011
  • Rongopai Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet 2015 NZD $18.00 $16.99
    Tasting Notes:Aromas of black and red currants. Light-medium bodied. Flavours of redcurrants and blackcurrant combined with herb and oak spice. Good balance. Recommended Food:Enjoy it with a whole scotch fillet ideally cooked on... more »
  • Twin Totara Kumeu Cabernet Franc / Merlot 2013 NZD $19.99
    Deeply red in colour, the wine shows a wondrful bouquet of berry fruits. Rich and ripe with soft lingering tannins showing complex fuit flavours of dark cherries and brambles and a hint of vanilla.... more »
  • Sottano Mendoza Merlot 2014 NZD $27.50 $19.99
    It has an intense bright red. A very elegant nose with aromas of red fruit jams and plums and cherries as wood smoke contributes aromas of chocolate and snuff achieving a very good balance.In the mouth it is intense and complex long finish with sweet ... more »
  • Mills Reef Hawkes Bay Gimblett Gravels Reserve Merlot 2015 NZD $25.99 $22.50
    This delicious single vineyard Merlot sourced from premium grapes is opulent and full-bodied, with a medley of intense plum, black berry fruits and spicyleather notes. Generously textured and layered, it is ready for immediate enjoyment, or will reward judicious cellaring.... more »
  • Mills Reef Hawkes Bay Gimblett Gravels Merlot Malbec 2015 NZD $25.99 $22.50
    Immediately warm and appetising, this deliciously harmonious blend of two classical Bordeaux varieties showcases black berry fruit complemented with spicy leather, musky violets and liquorice hints. An excellent choice with lamb or pork dishes. Ready for immediate enjoyment or to reward cellaring... more »