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Italian wine and grape guide : Merlot


The Merlot is a red grape native of the Gironde, in the South-West of France, particularly the Bordeaux area from which, together with the Cabernet, produces some of the most prestigious wines in the world. Very often and everywhere in the world, the Merlot is blended with the Cabernet Sauvignon, the two grapes complement each other perfectly, the first giving the wine its fruit, the second, adding tannins, aristocracy and greater longevity. In Bordeaux, depending on the area, it is often added a small percentage of Cabernet Franc that, in addition to its fruit component, adds herbaceous and vegetal flavours. In Italy the Merlot arrived at the end of 1800, initially in Friuli Venezia Giulia, and then quickly spread to the Veneto and Trentino Alto Adige, but is now found in many other regions, from Piedmont to Sicily, sometime producing surprising results, even without the addition of other grapes.