An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture ...
An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot can be made into a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the best wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol where it is blended with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, it plays a supporting role to Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly from California’s Napa Valley.
In the Glass
Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.
Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.
Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot with Cabernet Franc.
- Pinot Noir130
- Cabernet Sauvignon93
- Other Red Blends60
- Rhône Blends53
- Bordeaux Red Blends44
- Tuscan Blends9
- Petite Sirah7
- Cabernet Franc6
- Other Red Wine3
Markham Merlot 2016Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Benziger Merlot 2016Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Frog's Leap Merlot 2016Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
Bonterra Organically Grown Merlot 2016Merlot from California
Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2014Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Merlot 2017Merlot from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Parducci Small Lot Merlot 2016Merlot from Mendocino, California
Rodney Strong Sonoma Merlot 2015Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Broadside Margarita Vineyard Merlot 2017Merlot from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Domaine Bousquet Merlot 2018Merlot from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
Tortoise Creek The Revivalist Merlot 2017Merlot from Clarksburg, Yolo County, California
McManis Family Vineyards Merlot 2017Merlot from California
Rutherford Ranch Merlot 2016Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Camp Merlot 2016Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2015Merlot from Napa Valley, California
L'Ecole 41 Estate Merlot 2014Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
L'Ecole 41 Estate Merlot 2015Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
Keenan Napa Valley Merlot 2014Merlot from Napa Valley, California
St. Supery Rutherford Merlot 2015Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
Domaine Bousquet Merlot 2017Merlot from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot 2014Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Parducci Small Lot Merlot 2015Merlot from Mendocino, California