A black grape that exudes elegance and balance, this is an extremely well-travelled international variety that produces a plethora of silky reds, rosés and even the odd White Merlot! Traditionally associated with the wines of the Bordeaux Right Bank (Saint-Émilion, Pomerol), here at Hedonism our shelves see the iconic names of Petrus, Le Pin, Péby Faugères, Monregard and Seraphine in an array of formats. Beyond France, delve into Old World Italian expressions of Merlot (think Lombardy, Tuscany and Umbria). Super Tuscan Masseto takes centre stage, with its dark nosed, concentrated reds, brimming with mulberries, spice, refreshing vibrant acidity and a wonderful cellaring potential. Stand out Tuscans Redigaffi and Fattoria Petrolo Galatrona meanwhile offer Merlots characterised by superb balance and harmony.
Across the pond, explore the deep reds of California and New York. In its New World setting, Merlot expressions are often characterised by their deep purple hue, soft velvety tannins and magnificent concentration of blackberry and plum, with delicate herbal and minty notes. Producers using new oak can add a cocoa, mocha, clove and vanilla complexity. Look out for Kapcsándy Family Wines for seamless, silken and powerful Merlots or the rich and sweetly-fruited single varietals from Ravenswood. For something a little different, discover a Son Mayol Merlot based rosé from Mallorca. South African producer Laibach produces an elegant and juicy organic wine red from Stellenbosch, whilst Swiss producer Brivio offers a unique White Merlot with delicate exotic and citrus notes.