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Merlot

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Bogle Merlot 2016 (1x75cl)

Though the Bogle family has been farming in the Clarksburg region for six generations, their involvement in the wine business spans back 50 years. In addition to passing down a strong work ethic and dedication to quality, the success of Bogle over the years is rooted in the day-to-day involvement of the Bogle family. The family takes great pride in making wines of exceptional character and quality. From vineyard to bottle, the highest standards are set, in order to create a wine that overdelivers each and every time.

To see an excellent tasting/information sheet from Bogle themselves, please click on the blue link below.

Bogle Merlot 2016 - fiche technique

Concentrated and full-bodied, the Merlot is a study in contrasts. Subtle and silky, yet bright and intense, this deep red wine is multifaceted. Black raspberry and dark cherry greet the nose, while the brighter fruit of ripe summer plum dazzles the palate. The toast and spice of twelve months in American oak seamlessly integrate with the tannin structure of this wine, leaving a long, lingering finish.

£14.60

Charles Smith Velvet Devil Merlot 2016 (1x75cl)

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Charles Smith.

Charles Smith Velvet Devil Merlot 2016 - fiche technique

The maker says: "When Hollywood’s surprise hit Sideways suddenly spawned anti-Merlot sentiments everywhere, Charles set out to rebuff the movie’s unflattering depiction of this great varietal. One sip of this bold, sultry creation and you’ll know he succeeded at making Merlot sexy again".

More traditionally put: This wine is made by Charles Smith, a self–taught winemaker who brings his rock and roll spirit to the vineyards of Walla Walla, Washington. As a romantic young man, Charles Smith moved across the world to Denmark to follow his love for his girlfriend at the time. In Scandinavia, he became a recognized manager for rock bands such as The Raveonettes. While travelling on the road with these bands, he developed his passion for wine. In 1999, he moved back to Washington, opened a wine store and became friendly with a French winemaker, later convincing him to move to Walla Walla to make wine together.

The aromas are that of cherry, cedar and black cherry, with an intense cherry, blackberry and some tobacco on the finish which is clean and lingers for a full mouth feel.

89% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec.

Letting this wine sit in the glass for 10 to 15 minutes will help to enhance the flavors and bring out the aromas while burning off any surface alcohol. The best foods to pair with this wine are lamb chops, steaks, pork chops, beef stew and hearty soups. This wine can also be enjoyed by itself due to its rich velvety texture on the palate.

ABV = 13.5%.

£15.00

Charles Smith Velvet Devil Merlot 2017 (1x75cl)

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Charles Smith.

Charles Smith Velvet Devil Merlot 2017 - fiche technique

The maker says: "When Hollywood’s surprise hit Sideways suddenly spawned anti-Merlot sentiments everywhere, Charles set out to rebuff the movie’s unflattering depiction of this great varietal. One sip of this bold, sultry creation and you’ll know he succeeded at making Merlot sexy again".

More traditionally put: This wine is made by Charles Smith, a self–taught winemaker who brings his rock and roll spirit to the vineyards of Walla Walla, Washington. As a romantic young man, Charles Smith moved across the world to Denmark to follow his love for his girlfriend at the time. In Scandinavia, he became a recognized manager for rock bands such as The Raveonettes. While travelling on the road with these bands, he developed his passion for wine. In 1999, he moved back to Washington, opened a wine store and became friendly with a French winemaker, later convincing him to move to Walla Walla to make wine together.

The aromas are that of cherry, cedar and black cherry, with an intense cherry, blackberry and some tobacco on the finish which is clean and lingers for a full mouth feel.

89% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec.

Letting this wine sit in the glass for 10 to 15 minutes will help to enhance the flavors and bring out the aromas while burning off any surface alcohol. The best foods to pair with this wine are lamb chops, steaks, pork chops, beef stew and hearty soups. This wine can also be enjoyed by itself due to its rich velvety texture on the palate.

ABV = 13.5%.

£15.00

Chateau Puy Guilhem, Fronsac 2009 (1x75cl)

The stunning 18th century Château Puy Guilhem is located on the hills of Saillans, overlooking the appellations of Pomerol and Saint-Émilion. The vineyard covers 14.5 hectares and is situated at the highest elevation of the Fronsac appellation, where the quality soils produce rich, concentrated grapes. The vineyard is manually cultivated following a sustainable philosophy and renowned consultant oenologist Stéphane Derenoncourt vinifies by parcel, creating hand-crafted, fruit focused and beautifully balanced wines.

2009 is widely cited as an outstanding vintage. The growing season was almost perfect, with a long, fine, warm summer and crucially, cooler nights which helped to retain balancing acidity. The wines are intensely ripe and rich.

The appellation of Fronsac is on the right bank close to Saint Emilion. The wines are dominated by Merlot. Château Puy Guilhem’s vineyard is situated in an elevated position of the appellation, atop high quality soil composed of a mix of clay and silt, which imparts structure to the wine. The vineyard is managed sustainably without the use of herbicides. Cover crops of grass are grown between the vines and manged with light tilling.

Fermentation took place in temperature controlled vats and lasted for 24 to 48 hours. The fermenting must was manually pumped over, with daily observations to check the evolution of the skins. Maceration lasted between three to four weeks to extract the desired levels of colour, flavour and tannins. The wine was aged for 12 to 16 months in French oak barrels, of which 50% were new and 50% was of one year.

100% Merlot.

A mature and traditionally styled Bordeaux showing ripe and fleshy black berried fruits with a lovely savoury and earthy finish. A powerful yet elegant red with ripe berried fruits enhanced by a subtle note of oak spice. Full bodied, with juicy fruit and an attractive savoury note on the finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£23.40

Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Te Kahu 2016 (1x 75cl)

** TO THE BEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE, WE REMAIN THE ONLY SUPPLIER OF THIS WINE IN THE UK. BEWARE THE STOCKIST ON winesearcher.com WHERE THIS WINE SHOWS AS 2016 BUT IS, IN FACT, 2015!! **

** WE HAVE NOW SOLD ALL OUR IMMEDIATE STOCKS, AND MORE SUPPLIES ARE ON THEIR WAY FROM NEW ZEALAND. HOWEVER, THESE WILL NOT ARRIVE UNTIL EARLY FEBRUARY. AT THIS RANGE, WE WOULD PREFER NOT TO TAKE PAYMENT FROM INTENDING CUSTOMERS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ORDER SOME, PLEASE EMAIL YOUR REQUIREMENTS TO US ON communications@exelwines.co.uk. WE WILL ADD YOU TO OUR WAITING LIST, CONFIRM THAT REQUEST BY EMAIL AND WILL CONTACT YOU WHEN THE WINE LANDS IN EARLY 2020 FOR PAYMENT. **

** 12 BOTTLES PER CUSTOMER ONLY (NB: the 2015 is also available without limits) **

Awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Craggy Range produces a collection of iconic wines from multiple regions in New Zealand. Owner Terry Peabody and his family pursued the single vineyard approach to winemaking, planting on green fields and bare land ensuring a focus on quality from the very beginning. New Zealand, with its diversity of soils types offered the perfect location to plant the vines. From the stony, warm soils of the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke's Bay to the volcanic, clay soils of Te Muna Road in Martinborough these exceptional vineyards produce wines with amazing aromatics, purity and complexity.

Te Kahu means 'the cloak' in Maori and refers to the mist that envelops Giants Winery in the Tukituki Valley. Legend has it that this mist was used to protect a mythical Maori maiden from the sun as she visited her lover Te Mata.

The grapes are completely destemmed before fermentation begins in closed top stainless steel tanks with the yeast being innoculated into the must. The wine then spends 10 months maturing in oak barriques (28% are new) before being fined, filtered and released for sale.  

63% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec.

The Te Kahu is a deep crimson red. It has complex aromatics of ripe plum, a touch of cassis, fresh rosemary and roasted meats. The palate is generous and approachable but also has a high level of sophistication with fine grained tannins enveloping a dense body of succulent black fruits. This wine has the ability to age for around 12 years from vintage.

To see Craggy Range's information sheet for this wine please click on the blue link below.

Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Te Kahu 2016 - fiche technique

ABV = 13.4%.

£21.50

Craggy Range Le Sol Syrah 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2013 vintage was awarded 98 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com(see blue link below).

Craggy Range Le Sol Syrah 2013 - Dec 2017 Decanter review

Craggy Range produces a collection of iconic wines from multiple regions in New Zealand. Owner Terry Peabody and his family pursued the single vineyard approach to winemaking, planting on green fields and bare land ensuring a focus on quality from the very beginning. New Zealand, with its diversity of soils types offered the perfect location to plant the vines. From the stony, warm soils of the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke's Bay to the volcanic, clay soils of Te Muna Road in Martinborough these exceptional vineyards produce wines with amazing aromatics, purity and complexity.

Le Sol is born of the renowned Gimblett Gravels viticultural appellation with its gravelly soils attracting the sun in summer and insulating the vines in winter. The vines are planted in the stoniest parts of the vineyard to a heritage clone of Syrah brought to New Zealand in the 1840s.

The grapes for this wine were hand harvested and completely destemmed before fermentation was allowed to start. They used a combination of open top French oak cuves and open top stainless steel tanks for the fermentation process with yeast being added to the must. The wine was then allowed to mature in French oak barriques (30% new) for 17 months.

To see Craggy Range's information sheet for this wine please click on the blue link below.

Craggy Range Le Sol Syrah 2015 - fiche technique

100% Syrah.

Le Sol has a colour of the deepest red with a vibrant purple hue. This is an expressive cool climate Syrah with lifted notes of violets, fresh boysenberries, sandalwood and a hint of dried, peppered meat. The palate has a dense core of dark fruits beautifully integrated by acidity and fine, dusty tannins giving the wine a long, elegant feel towards the dry finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£52.60

Miolo Lote 43 2012 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2019 edition article on Brazil (see blue link below).

Miolo Lote 43 2012 - October 2019 Decanter review

The Miolo estate was founded in 1897, after Italian immigrant Giuseppe Miolo arrived in Brazil with a passion for grapes and vines. He bought a piece of land called Lote 43 and started to plant grapes, bringing the tradition of Italian winemaking to Brazil. Today, the business is still lead by the Miolo family and one of the estate’s most elegant wines is named after this first parcel.

After almost a century of growing grapes, the company started to make its own wine in 1990. Nowadays, Miolo produces 15 million litres of wine per year – red, white and sparkling – with grapes grown on 1200 hectares of vineyards. The aim of the winery is to create a range of sparkling, red and white wines that have Old World character, but also with their own Brazilian twist. It has become Brazil’s number one producer; exporting more wine than any other Brazilian winery.

The winery is located in the Vale dos Vinhedos region, situated between the cities of Bento Goncalves, Garibaldi and Monte Belo. Translated as ‘the valley of vineyards’, the Vale dos Vinhedos is the only region in the country with a certification of geographical indication. However, Miolo have vineyards all over the country – all the way down to Campanha, by the Uruguayan border.

It is impossible to talk about Miolo without mentioning Miolo Lote 43. Produced with the best vintages only, this signature red wine reflects the story of the Miolo family. Upon arrival in Brazil in 1897, patriarch Giuseppe Miolo purchased his land lot, known as Lote 43, in Vale dos Vinhedos, where Miolo Winery is located today. Not only does this wine pay honors to the family patriarch, it also expresses the most distinctive characteristics of the region.

The grapes were hand picked in boxes of 20 kilos from Lote 43. The grapes were selected by hand on a selection table. The alcoholic fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at a temperature from 28 to 30 º C for approximately 15 days, the pomace being mixed with the wine by pumping over. After the fermentation, the tanks were closed and the wine was left 15 to 20 days in contact with the skin. Malolactic fermentation occurred spontaneously and immediately. The Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines were aged separately, 50% in new barrels of American oak and 50% in French oak barrels for a period of approximately 12 months. The wine was bottled without filtration, to ensure greater aromatic intensity. After bottling the wine was stowed in the cellars of Miolo to rest.

50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot.

Aromas include liquorice, tar, dark chocolate, mocha and spice. Good fruit concentration; firm tannins and a savoury note. A full-bodied, modern style.

£21.55

Planeta Sito dell Ulmo Merlot 2014 (1x 75cl)

As sampled at Exel Wines' November 2018 tasting. See here for the report of that evening.

In Planeta’s early years, expertise came from a surprising source: Australia. The winemaker brought in by Diego Planeta was an Italian – Carlo Corino – but one who had soaked in the latest warm-climate winemaking secrets during a stint in New South Wales. Ever since, Planeta has managed to captured the intrinsic perfume and fresh flavours of Sicily’s grapes in their wines.  The island estate pursued an unconventional approach to winemaking, with Planeta establishing a cult following for its barrel-aged Chardonnay, at a time when most other Italian whites were typically consumed straight out of the fermenter. This early success gave Planeta the credibility it needed to open the world’s eyes to the charms of Sicily’s indigenous grape varieties, ushering in a broad range of wines that today owes as much to Grecanico and Nero d’Avola as it does to the winery’s signature Chardonnay.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Planeta Sito dell Ulmo Merlot 2014 - fiche technique

100% Merlot.

A bewitching wine which gently overcomes you. Its uniqueness emerges in a particular way with a diverse but lively structure of tannins and with its strong and intensely savoury taste. This version of a densely ruby coloured Merlot, so rich with the sweet juice of black currant and candied violet which alternates with thyme and lavender, cannot pass unnoticed either by the palate of a refined taste or by that of an enthusiastic novice. It is a multi-faceted and intriguing red wine which combines the pleasure of tannin with an extraordinary persistence of taste.

ABV = 14.5%.

£21.25

Saint Clair Origin Merlot 2016 (1x75cl)

Neal and Judy Ibbotson were pioneers in the Marlborough wine industry, first planting vineyards in the valley in 1978 and then establishing Saint Clair Family Estate in 1994. They own 160 hectares of vineyard in 10 different Marlborough locations chosen specifically for the attributes of their individual "terroir" and ability to produce top quality grapes. Neal Ibbotson combines his extensive expertise in viticulture with the talent of one of New Zealand's leading winemaking teams led by Hamish Clark. Since 1994, when wines from the first vintage all won medals including gold, the name Saint Clair has been synonymous with quality and its award-winning record continues today. This is a sentiment shared by Bob Campbell MW, who says “Saint Clair now makes the country’s and perhaps the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc”.

The outstanding fruit was sourced predominantly from a single vineyard within the Gimblett Gravels area of Hawkes Bay. The vigour moderating, free draining, gravel soil provides a superb base for the low yielding Merlot. These vineyard sites have ideal ripening conditions for achieving the ripe berry aromatics and balanced tannin structure that Saint Clair Merlot exhibits. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening; and harvested in the cool evening at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.

The grapes were destemmed into small stainless steel fermenters for a five-day cold soak to help maximise flavour and colour extraction. During fermentation, the wine was hand plunged and occasionally pumped over to gently extract flavour, colour and tannin. Following primary fermentation, the young wine was kept in contact with skins and tasted daily until the desired levels of extraction and balance had been achieved. Once pressed and settled, the wine was then racked to seasoned French oak where it underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged on its light lees, lightly fined and carefully prepared for bottling.

Merlot 100%.

A combination of dark fruit flavours with black plum and ripe blackberry and a touch of liquorice showing a powdered structure reminiscent of fine dark chocolate leading to a lightly spiced and toasty finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£13.30

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Block Merlot 2016 (1x75cl)

Neal and Judy Ibbotson were pioneers in the Marlborough wine industry, first planting vineyards in the valley in 1978 and then establishing Saint Clair Family Estate in 1994. They own 160 hectares of vineyard in 10 different Marlborough locations chosen specifically for the attributes of their individual "terroir" and ability to produce top quality grapes. Neal Ibbotson combines his extensive expertise in viticulture with the talent of one of New Zealand's leading winemaking teams led by Hamish Clark. Since 1994, when wines from the first vintage all won medals including gold, the name Saint Clair has been synonymous with quality and its award-winning record continues today. This is a sentiment shared by Bob Campbell MW, who says “Saint Clair now makes the country’s and perhaps the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc”.

Good settled weather at flowering was followed by a cooler growing period on average, but dry. Some rain just after véraison and a short period of cooler weather looked likely to delay harvest, but settled warm dry weather through the remaining ripening period sped up the flavour development and ripening and contributed to harvest date comparable to most years.

This outstanding fruit was sourced from a single vineyard within the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing area of Hawkes bay. The vigour moderating, free draining gravel provides a superb base for this low cropping Merlot. The flat vineyard, sits atop a plateau with a gradual slope and is situated in a warm and sheltered site, which has ideal ripening conditions for achieving the full aromatic profile and tannin structure that Merlot can give. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening and harvested in the cool evening at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.

The fruit was held cold for four days prior to the fermentation to help extract the maximum flavour and to enhance the colour stability. It was then inoculated to carry out the primary alcoholic fermentation, during which the fermenting must was hand plunged up to four times daily and pumped over the skins to help with extraction. When dry, the young wine was pressed and then racked off the gross lees to 50% new French oak and 50% seasoned French oak. The wine underwent a clean malolactic fermentation while ageing in oak for 11 months. It was then gently extracted from the oak, blended and carefully prepared for bottling.

Merlot 100%.

A rich, full bodied and complex Merlot. Aromas of wild blackberry and ripe plum combine with leather, espresso coffee and a hint of spice. The silky smooth palate is layered with ripe dark berries, damson plums and dark chocolate and leads to a long, persistent finish.

Delicious with lightly spiced exotic dishes.

ABV = 13.5%.

£17.05

Saint Etalon Merlot Vin de Pays d'Oc 2016 (1x75cl)

Saint Etalon is made by Foncalieu, one of the most forward-looking, energetic and quality-focused cooperatives in France. Over 1,600 growers are members with over 7,500ha of vines spread right across the south of France.

Low temperature pre-fermentation takes place, which is then followed by a 3 week long alcoholic fermentation at controlled temperatures of 25-26°C. There is gentle extraction and pumping-over is also used. The wine is matured on its lees for another 3 weeks and completes its second fermentation in tanks.

100% Merlot.

This easy-drinking red wine has an elegant nose of ripe berry fruit. Well-balanced, round and smooth on the palate.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 13.0%.

£8.05

Steenberg Merlot 2016 (1x75cl)

Steenberg was the Cape’s first farm, which was established in 1682 and has certainly come a long way from its humble beginnings. In addition to the vineyard there is now a restaurant, hotel and golf course for visitors to enjoy. The vineyard team at Steenberg always strive to give their best to the wines by cultivating the vineyards to produce the healthiest grapes of the best quality. Their philosophy is that the "wines are grown in the vineyard and then cared for in the winery". Special attention was therefore placed in obtaining the very best and latest known clones and matched to the correct soils and slopes. Environmentally considerate farming practices are employed as far as possible, with the help of non-toxic, natural formulas of pest control, and the employment of natural predators for help in keeping the grapes as healthy as possible.

This wine is 100% Merlot.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Steenberg Merlot 2016 - fiche technique

ABV = 14.0%.

£16.05

The Cannonball Wine Company Merlot 2016 (1x 75cl)

It all began for Cannonball in 2006 with one varietal, Cabernet, and the vision to produce one of the best value wines available. By combining the winemaking expertise of co-founder Dennis Hills with the keen sourcing knowledge and business acumen of the other co-founder, Yoav Gila, Cannonball Wines was born. Dedicated to innovation, with a commitment to authenticity, their mission is to spread their passion by offering wines they believe in. They love what they do, and their dedication and passion shows in every bottle!

To read an excellent and informative description of this wine from Cannonball themselves, please click on the blue link below.

Cannonball Merlot 2016 - fiche technique

£14.90

The Paddock Merlot 2018 (1x75cl)

The Paddock wines are named after the paddock fences which are a regular feature dotted across the rolling landscape of southern Australia. These classic Australian single varietals deliver easily accessible and fruity wines, popular with many Australian wine drinkers, as well as those further afield.

100% Merlot.

This easy-going Merlot has a deep red, ruby colour alongside a subtle violet bouquet with vanilla oak giving it complexity. The palate is rich, rounded and has firm tannins on the finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£7.05

Thelema Merlot 2017 (1x75cl)

Cabernet may be its trump card, but the origins of Thelema owe more to the wines of Burgundy than Bordeaux: it was a bottle of Puligny-Montrachet that lured Gyles Webb away from accountancy in Durban to winemaking in Stellenbosch. Armed with a winemaking degree and influenced by travels in Tuscany, Bordeaux and California, Gyles and his wife Barbara – a noted triathlete – bought Thelema, an old fruit farm high on the slopes of the Simonsberg mountain, in 1983.

This is the wilder side of Stellenbosch, where spotted leopards roam the vines and a combination of elevation and eucalyptus trees creates a much-prized style of Cabernet with a distinctively minty freshness. These days Gyles is Cellar Master, with the talented Schultz brothers (Rudi and Werner) responsible for the winemaking and vineyards respectively. But the philosophy remains true to Gyles’ original vision, centred on the principle of what he calls ‘benign neglect’ – minimal fining and filtration, and no use of commercial yeasts in the red wines. True too to the Thelema name, taken from the idealised concept of a new world order imagined by 16th century French monk, physician and writer Rabelais.

100% Merlot.

For the full data sheet and technical/tasting information from the winemakers themselves, click the blue link below.

Thelema Merlot 2017 - fiche technique

The wine shows bright, red fruit and hints of spice on the nose, with concentrated flavours on the palate and soft, polished tannins. Hints of dark chocolate complete this wonderfully balanced wine.

ABV = 14.5%.

£16.25
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