[click image to zoom]
"This exceptional Merlot shows superb richness from the addition of 27% Malbec. Lovely black fruit qualities highlight the bouquet and lead to supple cherry and blackberry fruit, good texture and a ripe, round finish." - Schneider's of Capitol Hill
Producer: Maimai Creek
Sale Price: $15.99
Merlot has a reputation for producing smooth, velvety wines that vary depending upon the climate and soil type. Warm conditions on clay soils often produce soft, fruit forward styles. Cool, higher elevation sites produce wine with a slightly more austere structure. It still reigns as one of the world's most noble varieties forming the majority of the blend in Bordeaux’s right bank vineyards of Pomerol and Saint-Emilion. It is now prevalent across the world, achieving particular success in South America, California, and Washington. In central Italy, Merlot is either bottled as a varietal or blended with Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon to form Indicazione Geografica Tipica's (IGT), known as Super Tuscans.
Country: New Zealand
Although vines have been planted in New Zealand for nearly 200 years dating back to 1819, it has only been relatively recently, since the 1970s, that wine production has taken off on a commercial level. The industry has grown at a phenomenal rate with exports increasing six fold in the first decade of the 21st century, and has now surpassed more traditional agricultural exports such as wool. With a combined length roughly that of California's, most of the vineyards on the two islands experience a cool maritime climate. There is a clear climatic distinction between the two. The north island is slightly colder and damper, experiencing a similar climate to Bordeaux, while the southern island is slightly warmer and drier. Many growers are diversifying their planting with other varieties, notably Pinot Gris and Riesling, however Sauvignon Blanc, the grape New Zealand established its reputation with, increased in plantings nearly 4 fold between 2005 and 2010. The red wine industry is heavily reliant upon its number one red wine grape, Pinot Noir, which in some areas such as Central Otago accounts for 78% of total plantings, as of 2009.
Region: Hawkes Bay
Red wine is wine made from dark-coloured grape varieties. The color of red differs based on the grapes variety or varieties used.
Interestingly, black grapes yield a juice that is greenish-white. The actual red color comes from anthocyan pigments (also called anthocyanins) from the skin of the grape (exceptions are the relatively uncommon teinturier varieties, which produce a red colored juice). Most of the production centers around the extraction of color and flavor from the grape skin.