Placido Merlot 1999
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Consisting of eight noble wine types, their wines include: Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Montepulciano D'Abruzzo, Chianti and a fruity Pinot Grigio all from grapes grown in choice Tuscany vineyards. Chile's Maipo Valley offers an ideal micro-climate for cultivating the noblest of French stock, such as Placido's Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay.
Tied to the history of the so-called “lost grape of Bordeaux,” Carmenѐre, the story of Chilean Merlot is a fascinating one. For decades in Chile the former was actually thought to be Merlot, so the two were typically planted together and harvested at the same time. Since Merlot is an early-ripening variety and Carmenѐre much later-ripening, the resulting wines often tasted unripe and vegetal. Not until 1994 was Chilean Carmenѐre identified correctly. As awareness grew, growers and winemakers began handling both grapes more optimally, leading to significant improvement in the wines.
Today Merlot ranks as the third most planted variety in Chile, behind Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. It is mostly found in the following valley DO’s, from north to south: Maipo, Cachapoal, Colchagua, Curicó and Maule. It can appear both in blends or on its own. Either way, Chilean Merlot tends to show characteristic aromas and flavors of ripe plums, dark berries and herbs, often accented by oak, with a mouthfeel that is round and full.