Merlot is a red wine grape varietal with its origins in Bordeaux - France. DNA testing leadings experts to believe that Merlot is an offspring of Cabernet Franc and is a sibling of Carmenère and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is lower in tannins and makes red wines that mature faster and are generally softer in texture. Merlot is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon in order to soften the blend. At its best, Merlot makes a wine that is dry, generous in flavour and smooth as it finishes on your palate.
Merlot is able to ripen in regions that are cooler than those required for example Cabernet Sauvignon. Though Merlot is more susceptible to fungus and mold diseases and therefore can be a bit harder to grow.

 

Merlot varies widely in quality around the world depending on the location and winemakers style. This red varietal was first known for its success in the Saint Émilion and Pomerol areas of Bordeaux. Château Petrus is the stellar example of fine Merlot.
Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Merlot is one of the key 5 grapes in Bordeaux wines, where it is the most widely planted varietal. Merlot is also one of the most popular red wine varietals in many countries. This flexibility has helped to make it one of the world's most planted red grape varietals.
Merlot usually has ripe berry components in the bouquet. Its wines tend to be soft, fruity and smooth in texture. Select premium quality Merlot wines can have long aging potential, but most are ready to be enjoyed with in 2 to 8 years. Merlot is enjoying a surge in popularity and new areas are being planted in many major wine producing regions.
Merlot should be served at approximately 15-17°Celsius. As when wine alcohol reaches 22-23°C (the average room temperature, and even warmer in summer), it is likely to cause an unpleasant sharpness in the taste. Cooling the bottle for approximately 10-15 minutes (but not much longer) in a fridge can be a good way to reach the desired serving temperature in summer time and warmer climates - enjoy.