Here’s All You Need To Know About The Chilean Merlot

Merlot is a dark blue-colored wine grape variety. Its softness and fleshiness, combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular blending grape. Merlot is one of the primary grapes used in Bordeaux wine.

Merlot is estimated as the third most grown variety globally, but it is mainly harvested in two styles. The ‘International style’ preferred by many New World Wine regions emphasize late harvesting. This style is done to gain physiological ripeness and produce inky, purple-colored wine full in body with alcohol and lush. 

The other style is the ‘traditional Bordeaux style’ where the Merlot is harvested earlier to the main acidity and produces more-medium-bodied wine with moderate alcohol content and rich in fresh fruits strawberry and raspberries.

Chilean Red Wines Which Are A Must For Wine Lovers

Chilean red wine has a long history even though it is a part of the New World Wine region.  In the mid-19th century, French wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere, and Franc came into existence. Chile’s vineyards are dedicated to producing Cabernet Sauvignon stands only second to France.

The country has become a winemaking hotspot for its favorable cold climatic conditions. Chilean Red wines have gone from good to exceptionally well and hence enjoys global popularity.

Cabernet Sauvignon And Bordeaux Blends

A bulk of Chilean Merlot is harvested in the Central Valley. Owing to Vineyards’ presence, Chilean Red Wines are produced in the Central Valley region of Maipo, Colchagua, and Maule valley.

However, finely-aged Chilean Red Wine is found in the foothill regions such as the sub-regions of Puente Alto; these places with higher elevations usually provide the required weather for harvesting and producing Chilean Merlots.

Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux Blends have a signature tart-like and fruity flavor. Blended in the traditional Bordeaux style, it tastes quite acidic.

This deep, rich, full-bodied red Chilean wine has a deep flavor and goes well with red meat dishes. It boasts a complex and harmonious flavor profile that hits the right notes when enjoyed with roasted beef or steak. It remains a favorite of many wine lovers in the U.K.

·         Flavor profile: Medium to full-bodied wines with moderate acidity, bearing black current and fresh fruits’ flavors.

·         Regions in focus- Puente Alto, Cachapoal Valley, Alto Maipo

·         Cost: Depends on the red wine type and age, but a typical Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon costs around $10-$15.


The story of this wine started with an element of mistaken identity. In the 1800s, grape cuttings were imported and were thought to be Chilean Merlot. Still, later it was discovered by an ampelographer, Jean Michel Bousiquot, that the mistaken Chilean Merlot was an ancient Bordeaux wine grape known as Carmenere.

The texture and the flavor profile of this wine are savory and juicy. This grape is nearly extinct in Bordeaux, hence making it something explicitly available in Chile. A more decadent style of this Chilean Red Wine is attained by blending small Petit Verdot and Syrah percentages to offer more bold flavors.

·         Flavor Profile: Medium-bodied wines with a fruity tone of raspberry, pomegranate, chocolate, and a spicy note of bell pepper and green peppercorn. It has a strong savory flavor.

·         Regions in focus- Peuno in Cachapol Valley, Alto Cachapol, Apalta on Colchagua Valley.

·         Cost: Depends on the type and age, but a typical Carmenere costs $10-$15.

Pinot Noir

Chile’s chilly mornings can be associated with that of Monterey and San Luis Obispo, which are the well-known region for producing Pinot Noir. The Coastal Valleys of Chile has become a hotspot for making moderate to cool-climate Chilean Red wines.. aThe popular wine varieties from this area are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

The Point Noir, once ripened, gives a rich taste of plum, strawberry, and raspberries. Point Noir is your one-shot choice with a side of seafood or poultry dishes. This Chilean Red wine is among the most enjoyed of all. It is usually made from pure grapes rather than from a blend. Its fruity flavors hit the right notes as it is not too sweet but again a lighter variety than standard red wine.

When buying a Point Noir, look for a lighter, fresher red.

·         Flavor Profile: Light-bodied and smooth with flavors of strawberry, raspberry, creamy vanilla yogurt, blood orange zest, and minerals.

·         Regions in focus: Casablanca valley and San Antonio Valley.

·         Cost: Depends on the type and age, but a typical Point Noir costs around $18.


Syrah or Shiraz is amongst one of the famous Chilean Red wines. There are two distinctive styles- one is plump, smoky, ‘Aussie Shiraz’ grown in the valley areas of Maipo, Colchagua, and almost in all of the Central Valley regions.

The other is a lean, elegant style found in the high-altitude areas such as Cachapoal and Elqui Valley. This type of Chilean Red Wine is usually light in its profile and can be paired with some excellent desserts.

·         Flavor Profile: Full-bodied with Black cherry, sugar plum, black pepper, raspberry, and chocolate.

·         Regions in focus: Colchagua, Cachapoal, Choapa Valley, Curico Valley.

·         Cost: Depends on the type and age, but typical Syrah costs around $10-$15, or the better quality can cost up to $39.

Red Wine Sweetness Chart

Red Wine SweetnessRed Wine Varieties
Very Dry (0/00)Bordeaux, Chianti, Montepulciano 
Off-Dry (1-2)Beaujolais, Burgundy, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese 
Medium (3-4)Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel
Sweet (5-6)Port Wine
Very Sweet (7 +)Ice Wine

White Wine Sweetness Chart

White Wine sweetnessWhite Wine varieties
Very Dry (0/00)Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio
Off-Dry (1-2)Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon, Blanc, Semillon
Medium (3-4)Gewurztraminer, Moscato/Muscat, Riesling 
Sweet (5-6)Sauternes
Very Sweet (7+)Ice Wine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Drinking Temperature for Red/White Wine

Though it heavily depends on the style of Wine, Wine is best served chilled. For most of the wines, the range varies from 45-50 degrees. As for the sweet wines, the upper temperature can be pushed to 58 degrees.

Summing It Up

Chilean Red Wines are ranked very highly in the international market. In the Berlin Wine Tasting Competition of 2004, 36 European Experts blind-tasted wines from two vintages, each of eight top wines from France, Italy, and Chile.

The first and second position was occupied by two cabernets based Red Wine from Chile. To round it off, Chilean Merlot holds an unfathomable legacy and deserves a place on the shelf of every wine lover.

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