Merlot N
Name of vine variety in France
Merlot
Origin
This variety is originally from the Bordeaux vineyards.
Synonymy
There is no officially recognized synonym in France nor in other countries in the European Union.
Regulations
In France, Merlot N is officially listed in the "Catalogue of vine varieties".

This vine variety is likewise listed in the Catalogues of other European Union member states: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Spain, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Malta, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania and Slovenia.
Use
Wine vine variety
Evolution of area under vines in France
1958 1968 1979 1988 1998 2008 2016
ha 16975 25124 38391 60007 90059 117354 114638
Description
Identification signs include:
- the tips of the young shoot have a very dense cover of flat-lying hairs,
- young leaves are green, with shoots and green internodes,
- adult leaves are drak green, wedge-shaped, 5 or 7-lobed with an open petiole sinus with a U-shaped base and sometimes limited by vein near the petiole point; moderate size teeth with straight or convex sides; absence of anthocyanin coloration of veins; very bubbled leaf blade, cupped and the underside with a sparse to moderate coat of flat-lying hairs, 
- round-shaped berries.
Genetic profile
Microsatellite VVS2 VVMD5 VVMD7 VVMD27 VRZAG62 VRZAG79 VVMD25 VVMD28 VVMD32
Allel 1 137 223 239 186 194 260 238 227 239
Allel 2 149 234 247 188 194 260 248 233 239
Phenology
Bud burst: 2 days after Chasselas.
Grape maturity: period II, 2 and 1/2 weeks after Chasselas.
Suitability for cultivation and agronomic production
Merlot N is a moderate to strong vigor variety with a tendency of growing water and new shoots. Its semi-erect horizontal growth requires sufficient trellissing. Good fertility and preference is given to short pruning. In certain climatic conditions, there is a risk of coulure. Merlot N is well suited to clay-limestone terroirs. This variety is rather sensitive to winter and spring frost (early bud burst) and would appear to be not very adapted to intense drought conditions.
Sensitivity to diseases and pests
Merlot N is particularly sensitive to downy mildew (on inflorescences and clusters), to leaf hoppers and burls. It is likewise rather sensitive to grey rot. On the other hand, it is not very sensitive to oidium and flavescence dorée and is seldom affected by wood disease.
Technological potential
Grape clusters are small to moderate size, winged and berries are moderate size. Merlot N produces round, powerful, rich in alcohol and colorful wines with relatively low acidity. These full-bodied and structured wines with rather supple tannins can be matured in wood barrels.  Complex and elegant aromas.
Clonal selection in France
The 13 approved Merlot N clones carry the numbers 181, 182, 184, 314, 342, 343, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 447 and 519. A conservatory collection with more than 300 clones has been set up in the Bordeaux vineyards since 1966.
Bibliographic references
- Catalogue des variétés et clones de vigne cultivés en France. Collectif, 2007, Ed. IFV, Le Grau-du-Roi.
- Documentation interne du Domaine de Vassal. 1949-2011, INRA, Marseillan-plage.
- Cépages et vignobles de France, tome 1. P. Galet, 1990, Ed. Dehan, Montpellier.
- Ampélographie. P. Viala et V. Vermorel, 1902-1910, Ed. Masson, Paris.
Description of clones approved in France
Identity and availability Agronomic data Technical data
Clone number Origin Selection Fertility Production level Sugar content Potential color
Year approved Agronomic references Weight of grape clusters Vigor Total acidity Tannic structure
Growing surface area Size of berries Sensitivity to Botrytis Aromatic intensity Oenological aptitudes
181  Gironde  INRA  medium to high  medium  medium to high  medium
 1973  Bordelais
Languedoc, Provence
 low  medium  medium  medium to high
 69.67 ha  low to medium      wines appreciated in wine tastings
More drooping growth. Clone appreciated for its agronomic characteristics and quality of wines produced.
182  Gironde  INRA  medium  medium  medium to high  high
 1973  Bordelais
Languedoc, Provence
 medium    medium  low to medium
 6.93 ha  medium      supple and balanced wines
Clone appreciated for its agronomic characteristics and quality of wines produced
184  Gironde  INRA  medium  medium to high  low to medium  
 1973  Bordelais
Languedoc, Provence
 medium to high    medium  medium
 9.68 ha        distinctive wines of the vine variety
314  Gironde  INRA  medium  medium  medium  
 1973  Bordelais  medium  medium  medium  
 4.54 ha        Balanced wines
342  Gironde  INRA  medium  medium  medium  
 1975  Bordelais  medium    medium  
 1.63 ha        distinctive wines of the vine variety
Identity and availability Agronomic data Technical data
Clone number Origin Selection Fertility Production level Sugar content Potential color
Year approved Agronomic references Weight of grape clusters Vigor Total acidity Tannic structure
Growing surface area Size of berries Sensitivity to Botrytis Aromatic intensity Oenological aptitudes
343  Gironde  INRA  low to medium  medium  high  medium to high
 1975  Bordelais
Languedoc, Provence
 medium    medium  medium
 44.11 ha  medium      structured wines
Clone appreciated for its agronomic characteristics and its capacity for producing wines with good ageing potential
345  Gironde  INRA        
 1975          
         
Small distribution clone
346  Gironde  INRA  medium  medium  medium to high  
 1975  Bordelais
Languedoc, Provence
 low to medium  high  medium  medium
 23.77 ha  medium      wines appreciated in wine tastings
Clone appreciated for its agronomic characteristics and quality of wines produced
347  Gironde  INRA  medium  medium  medium  medium
 1975  Bordelais
Languedoc, Provence
 medium    medium  medium
 37.66 ha  medium      wines appreciated in wine tastings
Clone appreciated for its agronomic characteristics and quality of wines produced
348  Gironde  INRA  medium  medium  medium  medium
 1975  Bordelais
Languedoc, Provence
 medium to high    medium  medium
 36.41 ha        wines appreciated in wine tastings
Clone appreciated for its agronomic characteristics and quality of wines produced
Identity and availability Agronomic data Technical data
Clone number Origin Selection Fertility Production level Sugar content Potential color
Year approved Agronomic references Weight of grape clusters Vigor Total acidity Tannic structure
Growing surface area Size of berries Sensitivity to Botrytis Aromatic intensity Oenological aptitudes
349  Gironde  INRA  high  high  medium  
 1975  Bordelais  high      
 7.94 ha        distinctive wines of the vine variety
Productive clone
447  Gironde  ENTAV        
 1976          
         
Small distribution clones; carrier of leafroll2 virus
519  Gironde  ENTAV  high  high  medium  
 1976  Bordelais  medium      
 20.85 ha        distinctive wines of the vine variety
Productive clone