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Merlot - Pinot Blanc - Schiava Grigia

Merlot - Pinot Blanc - Schiava Grigia

Pinot Blanc, Weißburgunder, Fehér Burgundi, Pinot Branco, Pinot Bianco – many names for the same grape depending on where you find it.

Merlot, although often used as a grape for blending (often with Cabernet Sauvignon), is a grape that produces some excellent single variety wine. It can be glorious on its own as seen in some of the wines from Pomerol and St. Emillion and this glory can be found in other expressions of the grape throughout the world.

A few places in Italy grow Merlot for this purpose and there are also excellent Merlots created in Valais and Thermenregion in Switzerland, but in that country it is to Ticino that we turn to find some wonderful single variety Merlot wines.

Ticino is of course right next to Italy and that is the language predominantly spoken there. Here they make Merlot into both red and white wine. Unlike the majority of ‘White Merlot’ this really is a white wine and not a rosé.

There seems no doubt that Merlot originated in France but it has spread throughout the world and can be found in most winemaking countries.

Following much DNA analysis and some archaeological searching worthy of a Dan Brown novel, it has now been established that Merlot is the offspring of Cabernet Franc and Magdeleine Noire des Charentes. It has other well-known siblings – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cot and the grape that was so often confused with Merlot, Carmenère.

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  • Douce Noire Domaine des Abeilles d'Or

    Silk and cashmere in a glass
  • Bianco Rovere Guido Brivio

    An elegantly oaked white Merlot. Guaranteed surprise!

    Out of stock

  • Riflessi d'Epoca Guido Brivio

    "made the old way" Ticino Merlot
  • Touché Guido Brivio

    The perfectly balanced Merlot - fruit and body, still at a nice price, just right. "Touché" indeed.
  • Platinum Guido Brivio

    A masterpiece of concentration.
  • Dogaia Guido Brivio

    An extremely clever red blend. For those who like mineral reds but want a full body too
  • Terre Alte Bianco Gialdi

    Back soon. Fruity, fresh, but with surprising texture.
  • Sassi Grossi Gialdi

    One of my favourite Merlots anywhere!
  • Pinot Blanc "Der Vollmondwein" Weingut Christ

    One of the very best Austrian Pinot Blanc - simply stunning.
  • Weissburgunder Stift Klosterneuberg

    Surprising mature Pinot Blanc.
  • Ruster Ausbruch "Auf den Flugeln der Morgenrote" Heidi Schroeck

    "On the wings of the dawn" is legendary
  • Pinot Blanc/Weissburgunder Heidi Schroeck

    Serious Pinot Blanc
  • Merlot Neuberg Alexs

    Fantastic Merlot from South Austria
  • Merlot d'Yvorne "Lettres de Noblesse" Badoux Vins

    Complex smooth Merlot, a masterpiece

    Out of stock

  • Riedenthal Reserve Weingut Breitenfelder

    Seriously good blend
  • Cuvée XXI Weingut Christ

    Vienna Bordeaux Blend - a bargain!
  • Merlot Saleggi Delea

    Merlot from Losone, Ticino
  • Cabernet Merlot Premium Weingut Christian Fischer

    A magnificent Cabernet Merlot blend from Fischer - grab it while you can.
  • Merlot Premium Weingut Christian Fischer

    Stunningly good Austrian Merlot. Mature

    Out of stock

  • Constellation Giroud Vins

    The first attempt ambitious international blend of Valais Native grapes.
  • Point Cuvée Weingut Nigl

  • Anna Christina Franz / Christine Netzl

    Always amongst the best reds in Austria.
  • Baiocco Guido Brivio

    A crowd pleaser both for Merlot lovers and a surprise to the "I don't like Merlot" crowd.
  • Arzo Gialdi

    From the village of Arzo near Mendrizio comes this classic southern Ticino Merlot.
  • Trentasei Gialdi

    A supremely elegant Merlot. 36 months in barrel and smooth as silk
  • Electus Valais Mundi

    A wine created to raise expectations about Swiss wine to a whole new level.
  • Patronis Stift Klosterneuberg

    Created for the 900th anniversary of the Klosterneuburg Monastery Winery.

    Out of stock

  • Edles Tal Franz / Christine Netzl

    pulls off the elusive combination of power and finesse.
  • Contrada Bianco di Merlot Guido Brivio

    We're out of Terre Alte so you get Contrada at the price of Terre Alte :)
  • Grain Noir Marie-Therese Chappaz

    Cabernet and Merlot in Alpine purity
  • Pinot Bianco Kellerei Kurtatsch

    Out of stock

  • Beerenauslese Josef Lentsch

    Lentsch's sweet wines are legend
  • Beerenauslese Selektion Heidi Schroeck

    Fabulously elegant sweet wine. An explosion of flavours - but with elegance, not exuberance.
  • Weissburgunder Jungherrn Stift Klosterneuberg

    Fresh and balanced Pinot Blanc, even with its age.
  • Schiava Grigia DOC Sonntaler Kellerei Kurtatsch

    My favourite wine in the Kurtatsch range. Starts Pomegranate light and then...
  • Gradenthal Weingut Christian Fischer

    Out of stock

  • Cabernet Sauvignon Margalit

    Cult Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot "Empreinte" Cave de La Cote Uvavins

    Back mid June!
  • Pinot Blanc Weingut Breitenfelder

    Out of stock

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Pinot Blanc is a mutation of Pinot Gris, itself a mutation of Pinot Noir. On the vine it looks remarkably similar to Chardonnay. It is usually made into dry or sparkling wines but especially in Austria can make some excellent early Trockenbeernauslese. On the nose it can be floral or perfumed with hints of apple and sometimes tropical fruits. The fruit remains on the palate and there is a much longer finish than you might expect from a white wine. Of course the sweeter wines incorporate qualities that you might expect from that style.

I have asked winemakers a few times why they chose "Pinot Blanc" or "Weissburgunder" and whether they were for marketing or cultural reasons. Usually the answer has been "It looked better on the label that way".

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