Bob Ross wrote:I'm very surprised to read your position, Peter, that folks in the US made this a popular word, given the importance of Merlot on the Right Bank in Bordeaux.
Well there you go Bob, I think you've made the point yourself.
How many people do you think recognise the world Merlot as a red wine, and how many of those know what is meant by the 'right bank in Bordeaux'?
Merlot may have been grown for donkeys years in Bordeaux, and many people preferred the softer wines of St Emilion, but the M word didn't appear on the label and few (outside experts like yourself) knew the connection.
By the way, in the first edition of Hugh Johnsons 'World Atlas of Wine', revised edition of 1977 Hugh says:
"Hence the best wines of the New World use the grape names to specify the character of the wine. And hence the curious fact that to an ordinary Californian the words Cabernet Sauvignon are more familiar than they areto a Parisian gourmet."