An Argentinian wine merchant’s guide to Merlot
Argentinian Merlot is a classic and quality wine. Often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon (especially in Bordeaux), this wine is known for its red fruit flavours and oak-infused hints of toast, coffee, vanilla and nuttiness.
Despite the suitability of this classic Bordeaux grape to Argentina’s climate, there isn’t a great deal of Merlot grown in Argentina at the moment. However, its production is increasing, along with its popularity.
Argentinian Merlots are mostly of medium body and acidity and low to medium tannin. They will usually display slightly redder fruit flavours than Cabernet Sauvignon. However, in hotter climates it can produce more black fruit, baked fruit and jammy flavours, resulting in fantastically rich and fruity wines, loved by wine companies, wine merchants and wine tasters alike.
Like Malbec, Argentinian Merlot drinks well with red meat, stew and cheese.
What to look for
Merlot is a grape I am always a bit careful of, as you never quite know what you are going to get. There are many completely different styles of Merlot, ranging from a very soft wine to a very big tannic wine. As such, more than some other grapes, it varies from bottle to bottle.
With this in mind, when considering a Merlot, I would advise you to research or taste before you buy wherever possible. As ever, the label should give some clues as to age, flavour and style.