Other Red Wines, Merlot, Rioja, WINE

Buy Merlot wine for the lowest prices at Woodland Hills Wine Co.

Merlot grapes are identified by their loose bunches of large berries. The color has less of a blue/black hue than Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and with a thinner skin and fewer tannins per unit volume. It normally ripens up to two weeks earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon. Also compared to Cabernet, Merlot grapes tend to have a higher sugar content and lower malic acid, which lends it to use as a blending grape for the purpose of balancing a wine's texture and structure. While Merlot is made across the globe, there tends to be two main styles.

The New World or modern style favored by many wine regions tends to emphasize late harvesting to gain physiological ripeness and produce inky, purple colored wines that are full in body with high alcohol and lush, velvety tannins with intense, plum and blackberry fruit. This profile is typical to Merlot grown in warmer climates, such as Napa Valley. It is also widely planted throughout Washington's Columbia Valley AVA but has earned particular notice from plantings grown in Walla Walla, Red Mountain, and the Horse Heaven Hills. Washington Merlots are noted for their deep color and balanced acidity. The state's climate lends itself towards long days and hours of sunshine with cool nights that contributes to a significant diurnal temperature variation and produces wines with New World fruitiness and Old World structure. A hallmark of Washington Merlot is a savory leather and cocoa profile, in addition to the red fruits. Meanwhile, the grape is finding some success in South America, as well, most notably in Chile's Apalta and Aconcagua regions.

While this international style is practiced by many Bordeaux wine producers, the traditional "Bordeaux style" of Merlot involves harvesting earlier to maintain acidity and producing more medium-bodied wines with moderate alcohol levels that display fresh, red fruit flavors like raspberries, strawberries, and red plum. Occasionally leafy, vegetal notes will remain present, but the Merlot-based wines of Bordeaux's Right Bank communes often display a mineral and graphite character that emphasizes the limestone bases of these soils. The grape achieves its pinnacle of expression in these regions as the principal component in some of the world's rarest, most expensive wines, such as Château Ausone, Angelus, and Château Pétrus.

A large portion of Merlot is planted in the Friuli wine region of Italy, where it is made as a varietal or sometimes blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. In other parts of Italy, such as the Maremma coast in Tuscany, it is often blended with Sangiovese to give the wine a similar softening effect as the Bordeaux blends. Italian Merlots are often characterized by their light bodies and herbal notes, and the grape's naturally low acidity serves as a balance for the higher acidity in many Italian wine grapes, especially in the Veneto, Alto Adige and Umbria. Global warming is potentially having an influence on Italian Merlot as more cooler-climate regions in northern Italy are being able to ripen the grape successfully while other regions already planted are encountering issues with over-ripeness.

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Ad Libitum is a label of Bodegas Juan Carlos Sancha, located in Rioja Alta, the coledest zone of the D.O.Ca. Rioja. Juan Carlos Sancha is a professor of enology at the University of La Rioja, and the bodega specializes in the production of artisinal organic wines from several minority varieties.… ...
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Ad Libitum (Juan Carlos Sancha) Rioja Monastel de Rioja 2013  (#702037)

Other Red Wines from Rioja, Spain

Ad Libitum is a label of Bodegas Juan Carlos Sancha, located in Rioja Alta, the coledest zone of the D.O.Ca. Rioja. Juan Carlos Sancha is a professor of enology at the University of La Rioja, and the bodega specializes in the production of artisinal…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
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