The term "metamorphosis" describes the transformation of a life form into something completely different. Though obviously not a direct comparison, in our selection, Merlot has morphed from a mere blending grape to the main star of the show.
Cabernet Sauvignon is still the supreme red wine in the world. Most point to Bordeaux as the hailing place for great wine, with Cabernet Sauvignon leading the charge. Nothing could be further from the truth. You see, in Bordeaux, Merlot accounts for more than twice the vineyard acreage of Cabernet Sauvignon.
When seen in that light, how could you not take Merlot more seriously? This vineyard in Paso Robles was first planted in 1973, and Merlot was added 20 years later. By the mid-'90s, a lot of California wineries were getting serious with Merlot and crafting outstanding wines, something the Bordelaise discovered centuries ago.
Today Merlot doesn't have to hide in Cabernet's shadow. As this worthy selection shows, it can stand alongside it very well.
Here is a master class of what great Merlot can be. The winemaker typically holds on to a Merlot wine a little longer than with most varietals, releasing it when he or she thinks it's beginning to show its best.
Fortunately, we are the beneficiaries of this policy, as here is a classic offering with subtle flavors all in perfect harmony with the grape, the soil and nature.