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Merlot

Merlot flourishes both as a single varietal and as a blending agent. It's known for adding softness to the austere Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux blends in France, California and elsewhere. Chateau Petrus, perhaps one of the most expensive and sought-after wines of the world, is almost 100% Merlot. The grape exudes soft fruit flavors of plum and blackberry, but it's versatile - the style can change depending on the climate and soil. Merlot from mountain areas are usually more Cabernet like, with stronger structure and tannins, while Merlot from valley floor areas and clay-based soils are opulent, with velvelty texture, often approachable when young.