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The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.
In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.
Merlot is now grown in virtually all wine growing countries and is particularly successful in California, Chile and Northern Italy.
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Our Chilean Merlot is perennially popular for its easy drinking style and soft, ripe fruit. The nose of the 2014 vintage is full of warm red plums and black damsons. The palate is medium-bodied, dominated by blackberries, with earthy hedgerow notes adding interest, whilst a herbaceous lift adds freshness. With plush damsons coming through on the juicy finish, this is an extremely drinkable wine, and a perfect partner for mid-week suppers. Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer
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Bottle 12 x 75cl
The more current wine I want to recommend is also an innovation: Ronan by Clinet: a contemporary wine, carrying the clout of a Pomerol name, this is Bordeaux doing branding ...but this is good juice. For a tenner. The current release is 2012...made using grapes from Castillon, Bourg and Lussac St Emilion. It is also 100% merlot. Why? “It was part of being modern. First, we don’t sell under a chateau name, we sell under a brand name. Also, we were extreme because we wanted to provide something new – and single varietal is that.” Well it is and it isn’t. There are other 100% merlots in Bordeaux; Le Pin, for one, which was really dancing this year. It’s a real stunner, but as you probably know, Le Pin is rather expensive and rather tightly allocated. Ronan by Clinet is at the other end of the market...This is real bang for your buck, lots of friends coming round for dinner, put something smart but crowd-pleasing on the table stuff. And what it is? A lively, breezy merlot; liquidized plums, easy-drinking, cut from stylish Bordeaux fruit from under-rated areas. It has some of the stardust of Clinet, and it is miles better than any clunky £10 merlot you will find on a supermarket shelf. Which reminds me. Didn’t we hear a lot of fuss about £10 wines from Aldi recently? The idea being that a discount store could offer a cheap slice of luxury? It’s the wrong way round. I’d much rather go for a case of this. Smarter thinking, smarter drinking. Not for keeping. Buy it and put it on the table. Victoria Moore, The Telegraph , Pomerol's promise, April 01, 2015
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This sumptuous Grand Cru St Emilion is produced especially for us by Alain Vauthier, co-owner of the illustrious Château Ausone. This rich, dense wine exemplifies the suberb quality of the 2010 vintage on the Right Bank. Showing both power and grace in equal measure, with complex plum, blackcurrant fruit and a long, smooth finish. Drinking beautifully now, but canbe cellared for a few years if you are able to resist it. Max Lallondrelle, Wine Buyer Remarkable complexity on the nose for a claret at this price where the quality of the production and vintage pays dividends. Multi-layered; where brambles, redcurrants and mulberries provide support for the development expressed by worn leather, bark and a touch of mushroom. Black cherry and plum play their own part on the palate leading dark chocolate and soft tannins. Jared Ehret, London Shop Sales Advisor Pure and elegant red and black fruit. Detectable complexity on the nose of tobacco and gaminess. Quite marked tannins from the vintage gives structure and longevity. Jinglin Zhang, London Shop Sales Advisor Our Own Selection Regional Reserve Wines With a focus on provenance, these superlative bottles are classified by commune and highlight the fruitful collaborations between the producers and buyers, creating wines with superb finesse.. Whether from Pomerol or Meusault, Barolo or Gevrey-Chambertin, the design of each label references its region of origin, prominently displaying both the name of the estate and the signature of the buyer.
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This cuvée, prepared specially for us by Ch. Feytit-Clinet, is a benchmark example of a highly regarded 2012 vintage in the Right Bank. Redcurrant, mocha and sweet spice about on the nose, with rich plummy Merlot fruit coming to the fore on the palate. Ready to drink now, with potential for a couple of years of ageing, this would be a perfect match with barbecued meats. With a focus on provenance, these superlative bottles are classified by commune and highlight the fruitful collaborations between the producers and buyers, creating wines with superb finesse.. Whether from Pomerol or Meusault, Barolo or Gevrey-Chambertin, the design of each label references its region of origin, prominently displaying both the name of the estate and the signature of the buyer.
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A concentrated Merlot wine with ripe plummy fruit, overlaid with baking spice notes from the maturation in French oak barriques.
Reflecting the style of the vintage, our 2013 Pomerol is medium-bodied, with an elegant nose of violets and mocha, and a palate filled with soft blackberry and cherry. The core of bright, juicy fruit is supported by velvety tannins, adding a welcome persistence to the finish. This delightful cuvée was made especially for us by Ch. Feytit-Clinet, and should be enjoyed over the next year or two, ideally as an accompaniment to duck or game dishes. Max Lalondrelle - Wine Buyer
From proprietress Annabelle Cruse-Bardinet, this dense ruby/purple-colored St.-Emilion offers sweet black cherry and cassis fruit, spring flowers and well-integrated oak, acidity and tannin. Medium-bodied, pure and impressively endowed in an elegant yet authoritative style, this sleeper of the vintage should drink well for 5-8 years. The 2011 is a strong effort from Corbin, which seems to be making sexy, lush, fruit-forward wines with enormous appeal. The natural alcohol came in at 13.8% and the final blend was 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Drink 2014-2022 Robert M. Parker - Wine Advocate #212 Apr 2014
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What a little gem this consistent property is. Nestled slightly further north by a whisker to its famous name givers, Lafleur and Gazin. Cool and plump with soft tannins that will offer great early drinking satisfaction, and at a snip of the price of its neighbours. (Simon Staples, Berrys’ Fine Wine Director)
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On the nose it shows spotless purity of fruit, rich ripe black plum with a hint of sweet spice. Opulent fruit flavours are obvious on the palate intertwined with fine tannin bolstered by a dash of both Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc and just starting to show a slight savoury note on the finish. A truly classic example of the achievements accomplished by this innovative and quirky winery. Oliver Barton - Fine Wine Wholesale
Creamy, rich bright fruit on the nose, polished by a lick of oak and an interesting mineral edge provided by the 5% Carmenère in the blend. The ripe, plummy Merlot fruit on the attack dominates the palate and is kept in check by crisp acidity and well-judged tannins from the 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot. This will drink well from release for 6 to 8 years. Chris Pollington – Private Account Manager