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.
I initially found Alpine Wines in a search for a good source of eisweins, which they certainly are. However, having bought a number of other wines from them as well, I have been truly delighted by the quality of the wine as well as their advice on the website and over the phone. Pretty much everything I have ordered has been a hit, and I'm rather picky. Excellent service and an excellent selection, most of which you will not find anywhere else. Truly unique. I will keep shopping here for the foreseeable future.
Delivery within 2 days, wines left where requested and one is able to order half a dozen wines at one time. We have always rated Swiss wines very highly and it is good to find a company that supplies such good quality wines.
As a half-Swiss I know what distinctive, quality wines Switzerland can produce. Until now, the problem has been locating them in the UK, since the demise of the Swiss Centre in Leicester Square many years ago. Keep them coming!
PS: I would like to see, and taste a pinot noir or two from the Germanic region - very distinctive from Burgundy, but more importantly from the lighter, thinner Germanic pinot.