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Flat front label of wine

Laboure Roi Merlot 2003

Merlot from France
    0% ABV
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    Winemaker Notes

    The surface area for growing Vin de Pays dOc wines made from Merlot grapes has increased by 40% in 4 years. This gives an idea of the enthusiasm aroused by the grape, both for its generous colour and the complexity of the cooked fruit notes in its nose and for its tannic but elegant structure in the mouth.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Laboure Roi

    Laboure Roi

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    Laboure Roi , France
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    Armand Cottin acquired Laboure-Roi in 1974. From its start in 1832, the small yet prestigious Burgundy negociant house--established in Nuits-Saint-Georges by Messrs. Laboure and Roi--had been firmly rooted in the local winemaking community, enjoying an excellent reputation for its high quality wines.

    Under the leadership of Armand and his brother Louis who later joined him, Laboure-Roi has become what is today the third largest source of Burgundy wines.

    A key element in the transformation and continued success of Laboure-Roi is the Cottin brothers' readiness to embrace progress, supported by their extensive investment in state-of-the-art technology. The Laboure-Roi winemaking facility in Nuits-Saint-Georges is indisputably one of the finest in Burgundy. The winery, which boasts a cellaring capacity of 2,000 barrels, supplements the house's historic cellars. Dating back to the 16th century, the ancient cellars are still used today for the storing and aging select bottles.

    Laboure-Roi pioneered the concept of presenting single estate wines under each respective domaine's label. Laboure-Roi's staff of five winemakers provides these growers with ongoing guidance to ensure that each individual wine meets the house standards of quality and reflects the unique characteristics of its respective terroir.

    Nearly synonymous with fine wine and all things epicurean, France has a culture of wine production and consumption that is deeply rooted in tradition. Many of the world’s most beloved grape varieties originated here, as did the concept of “terroir”—the notion that regions and vineyards convey a sense of place that is reflected in the resulting wine. Accordingly, most French wine is labeled by geographical location, rather than grape variety, which can be confusing to the general consumer, who can benefit from a general working knowledge of the major appellations. Some of the greatest wine regions in the world can be found here, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône, and Champagne, but each part of the country has its own specialties and strengths.

    Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, always unblended, are the king and queen of Burgundy, producing elegant red and white wines with great acidity, the finest examples of which can age for decades and command astoundingly high auction prices. The same varieties, along with Pinot Meunier, are used in Champagne. Of comparable renown is Bordeaux, focused on bold, structured red wines that are almost always blends of some combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. The primary white varieties of Bordeaux are Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. The Rhône Valley is responsible for monovarietal Syrah in the north, while in the south it is generally blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre. White Rhône varieties include Marsanne, Roussane, and Viognier. Most of these varieties are planted throughout the country and beyond, extending their influence into both the Old and New Worlds.

    An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

    In the Glass

    Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

    Perfect Pairings

    Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

    WWH357MRLR2_2003 Item# 79024