Merlot N
Name of the variety in France
Merlot
Origin
This variety is originally from the Bordeaux vineyards. Based on genetic analyses, Merlot would be the result of crossbreeding Cabernet franc and Magdeleine noire des Charentes.
Synonyms
There is no officially recognized synonym in France nor in the other countries of the European Union, for this variety.
Legal information
In France, Merlot is officially listed in the "Catalogue of vine varieties" on the A list and classified. This variety is also listed in the catalogues of other Member States of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.
Use
Wine grape variety.
Evolution of cultivated areas in France
1958 1968 1979 1988 1998 2008 2018
ha 16975 25124 38391 60007 90059 117354 114578
Descriptive elements
The identification is based on:
- the tip of the young shoot with a high density of prostate hairs,
- the green young leaves,
- the shoots with green internodes,
- the wedge-shaped dark green adult leaves, with five or seven lobes, an open U-shaped petiole sinus, with sometimes naked petiole veins, medium teeth with straight or convex sides, no anthocyanin coloration of veins, a goffered, very blistered leaf blade, and on the lower side of the leaves, a low to medium density of prostate hairs,
- the 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: mid-season, 2 weeks and a half after Chasselas.
Suitability for cultivation and agronomic production
Merlot is a moderately to strongly vigorous variety that tends to produce a lot of off shoots and suckers. Its semi-erect to horizontal bearing requires sufficient trellising. Its fertility is good and it is better to prune it short. In certain climatic conditions, there is a risk of coulure. Merlot is well suited to clay-limestone terroirs. This variety is rather sensitive to winter and spring frosts (early budburst) and appears to be not very adapted to intense drought conditions.
Susceptibility to diseases and pests
Merlot is particularly sensitive to downy mildew (on flowers and bunches), to vine leafhoppers and burls. It is also rather sensitive to grey rot. On the other hand, it is not very susceptible to powdery mildew and flavescence dorée and is not very affected by wood diseases.
Technological potentiality
The bunches are small to medium in size, winged and berries are medium in size. Merlot produces round, powerful, rich in alcohol and colored wines with relatively low acidity. These full-bodied and structured wines, with rather supple tannins, can be aged in wood barrels. The aromas are complex and elegant.
Clonal selection in France
The twelve certified Merlot clones carry the numbers 181, 182, 184, 314, 342, 343, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349 and 519. A conservatory collection of more than 300 clones has been planted in the wine-growing region of Bordeaux since 1966.
Bibliographic references
- Catalogue des variétés et clones de vigne cultivés en France. Collectif, 2007, Ed. IFV, Le Grau-du-Roi, France.
- Documentary collections of the Centre de Ressources Biologiques de la Vigne de Vassal-Montpellier, INRAE - Montpellier SupAgro, Marseillan, France.
- Dictionnaire encyclopédique des cépages et de leurs synonymes. P. Galet, 2015, Ed. Libre&Solidaire, France.
- Traité général de viticulture, Ampélographie. P. Viala and V. Vermorel, 1901-1909, Ed. Masson, Paris, France.
Description of clones certified in France
Identity and availability Agronomic data Technological data Autres informations
Clone no. Marque Origin Selection Year of
certification
Agronomic
references
Surface area used
for propagation (year)
Fertility Production
level
Bunch
weight
Vigor Berry
size
Susceptibility
to grey rot
Sugar
level
Color
potential
Titrable
acidity
Tannic
structure
Aromatic
intensity
Oenological
suitability
New General
note
Agro-tecnic
note
Note
agronomique
Agronomic
note
Links
181 Gironde INRA 1973 Bordelais
Languedoc
Provence
69.67 ha medium to high low to medium low low low to medium medium to high medium medium medium to high wines appreciated in tasting more drooping bearing. Clone appreciated for its agronomic characteristics and the quality of the wines obtained.
182 Gironde INRA 1973 Bordelais
Languedoc
Provence
6.93 ha medium medium medium medium medium to high high medium low to medium supple and balanced wines clone appreciated for its agronomic characteristics and the quality of the wines obtained
184 Gironde INRA 1973 Bordelais
Languedoc
Provence
9.68 ha medium medium to high medium to high low to medium medium medium representative wines of the variety
314 Gironde INRA 1973 Bordelais 4.54 ha medium medium medium low medium medium balanced wines
342 Gironde INRA 1975 Bordelais 1.63 ha medium medium medium medium medium representative wines of the variety
343 Gironde INRA 1975 Bordelais
Languedoc
Provence
44.11 ha low to medium low to medium medium medium high medium to high medium medium structured wines clone appreciated for its agronomic characteristics and its aptitude to produce wines suitable for ageing
345 Gironde INRA 1975 Clone not widely distributed.
346 Gironde INRA 1975 Bordelais
Languedoc
Provence
23.77 ha medium medium low to medium high medium medium to high medium medium wines appreciated in tasting clone appreciated for its agronomic characteristics and the quality of the wines obtained
347 Gironde INRA 1975 Bordelais
Languedoc
Provence
37.66 ha medium medium medium medium medium medium medium medium wines appreciated in tasting clone appreciated for its agronomic characteristics and the quality of the wines obtained
348 Gironde INRA 1975 Bordelais
Languedoc
Provence
36.41 ha medium medium medium to high medium medium medium medium wines appreciated in tasting clone appreciated for its agronomic characteristics and the quality of the wines obtained
349 Gironde INRA 1975 Bordelais 7.94 ha high high high medium representative wines of the variety productive clone
519 Gironde ENTAV 1976 Bordelais 20.85 ha high high medium medium representative wines of the variety productive clone