The merlot grape is the second most planted variety of Vitis Vinifera in the world and the most planted grape in Bordeaux. It is most associated with St. Emilion and Pomerol, but its recent ascension over the cabernet sauvignon as the most popular red wine grape makes it a favorite almost everywhere new vines are planted. It has less tannin and is fuller-bodied than the cabernet, but drinkable young while still cellaring well. Blended with cabernet or Syrah, the wine acquires both tannin and body that promises longer life and more complexity than any of the blended wines possess individually. Merlot noir is hugely more popular than its sibling merlot blanc. The recipe below is for the black grape.
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