t’s more than 15 years since the film Sideways changed the real-world market for two red wine varietals with its protagonist’s famous rant about the banality of merlot and the marvels of pinot noir. Ever since, merlot has been perceived by some as just a little bit "too accessible". Which is a pity, because in the hands of a skilled winemaker there probably isn’t any such thing as an uninteresting varietal.

Proof of this is provided by the new Grande Provence merlot 2018. The wine was recently launched at the estate to much appreciative nodding and "mmm"-ing from the assembled wine journos...

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