Les Oliviers 14% abc 80% Merlot 20% Mourvedre
Indication Geographique Protogee Pays d’Oc, Languedoc region Southern France
Situated between the Provence region to the East and the Roussillon and Spain to the West, Languedoc sits on the coast of the Mediterranean and enjoys dry summers and mild winters. Spring and Autumn tend to be mild but conditions do vary as the coastal plains tend to be warmer than the inland and mountainous parts. As the largest wine producing region in the world it naturally grows a wide variety of grapes and bottles a large number of different wines.
Planted by the Greeks Languedoc along with Provence boast the oldest cultivation of wine in France and with this long tradition they have over 700,000 acres of land cultivated exclusively for vines. More recently, greater global competition has seen a need to improve traditional wines once destined for a well established domestic market. Collaboration between over 500 wine cooperatives has led to a surge in quality wines destined for export markets as well as more discerning home markets.
In order to keep as much fresh fruit flavour of the grapes, Oliviers merlot wine grapes are de-stemmed before cooled maceration begins. De-stemming and cooling helps control the amount of tanning in the wine must. It is this maceration process that gives red wine it’s colour and flavours so it is part of the wine makers art to ensure this procedure is carefully managed in order to maintain quality. Fermentation takes place without oak, again to control tannins, by draining the must from the seeds and skins. Finally the Merlot grapes are blended to the Mourvedre before cask storage.
Mourvedre grapes are small with thick skins resulting in high levels of phenolic compounds. This makes the flavour of wines more tannic but giving it a high alcohol content and a spicy flavour making it ideal for blending with other wines particularly fortified wines. In France and particularly the Languedoc-Roussillon region it is grown as a varietal wine in its own right.
The Merlot grape is one of the most widely grown varieties of grapes and is popular as both a varietal wine as well as mixed with a range of other wines particularly in the Bordeaux region. The variety is the third most grown grape variety in the world and the most popular in France with the Languedoc region along with Bordeaux. The grape gets its name from the Merle (Merlau) black bird that feeds on the ripe fruit. It has large berries hung in loose bunches with thin skins resulting in fewer tannins and high sugar.
Les Oliviers Utilises 80% Merlot grapes to provide a soft velvety wine with flavours of plum flavour blended with the hot spice and herb flavours of Mourvedre, giving the Black Friar Wine Cellar a unique opportunity to present a Merlot Mourvedre blend from the Pays d’Oc region a wonderful full bodied red at an affordable price.