MERLOT GRAPES 4
Merlotoriginates from the French name Merle, which refers to the blackbird.Some of the typical or common graps used include Cabernet Sauvignon,Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot (Lopez, Hernandez and Cacho1999). The two commmon methods used in wine making are (a) thegeneral process which emphasizes late harvesting of grapes to allowfull ripening and (b) traditional Bordeaux method which harvestgrapes earlier maintaining acidity. In both approaches, maturedmerlot grapes and its varieties are commonly used (Lopez, Hernandezand Cacho 1999).
Thename was first recorded by an official of the Bordeaux region asMerlau in 1784. Merlau originated from the local language of Occitanand referred to a local blackbird. In the 19thcentury, Merlot was grown in Medoc on the left bank of river Gironde.Between 1970 and 1975, the planting of Merlot was banned due to heavylosses experienced after frost hit the region. In Italy, Merlot wasrecorded as Bordo around Venice in 1855.
Merlotgrows well on well-drained and cold soil. especially ferrous clay.Three downfalls to growing Merlot include it is attacked by insectsfrom the leafhopper variety, is easily affected by downy mildew androts quickly. Water stress is critical in producing Merlot as it doeswell in well-drained soils. Early harvesting produces grapes with ahigh acidity and finesse while late collection produces bigger grapes(Mazza, Delaquis and Ewert 1999).
Merlotwas referred to as Vin de pays in southern France. Merlot gave bodyand softness in Bordeaux winemaking and was the main variety grown onthe right side of the river Gironde. In France`s Pomerol region,Merlot accounted for 80% of grapes grown. Sandy soil produces softerMerlot than clay. Merlot is also grown in Algeria, Canada, Chile,California, and Romania.
Washingtonand Italy are cooler regions where the grapes are grown. Merlots arewell paired with meat, salmon, and mushrooms. Cheeses do not go wellwith Merlots as they overwhelm the fruity flavor of the wine.
Mazza,G., Fukumoto, L., Delaquis, P., Girard, B., & Ewert, B. (1999).Anthocyanins, phenolics, and color of Cabernet franc, Merlot, andPinot noir wines from British Columbia. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry,47(10),4009-4017.
Lopez,R., Ferreira, V., Hernandez, P., & Cacho, J. F. (1999).Identification of impact odorants of young red wines made withMerlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache grape varieties: acomparative study. Journalof the Science of Food and Agriculture,79(11),1461-1467.
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