Learn about Merlot — taste profile, popular regions and more ...
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.
Tasting Notes for Merlot
Merlot is a dry, red wine known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry and raspberry. From cool climates, Merlot wines will express earthy and herbal notes, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.
Perfect Food Pairings for Merlot
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 are a hit with pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.
Sommelier Secrets for Merlot
Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's reputation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What most 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 Noir269
- Cabernet Sauvignon154
- Rhône Blends99
- Other Red Blends68
- Bordeaux Red Blends47
- Cabernet Franc23
- Other Red Wine10
- Tuscan Blends10
- Petite Sirah6
- Nero d'Avola1
- Petit Verdot1
Korbin Kameron Merlot 2014Merlot from Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
Hearst Ranch Pico Creek Merlot 2014Merlot from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Broadside Margarita Vineyard Merlot 2014Merlot from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Benziger Merlot 2014Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Chacewater Winery Merlot 2014Merlot from Sierra Foothills, California
Yarden Odem Vineyard Merlot (OK Kosher) 2014Merlot from Israel
McIntyre Kimberly Vineyards Merlot 2014Merlot from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
Keenan Mailbox Vineyard Spring Mountain Reserve Merlot 2014Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
St. Supery Rutherford Merlot 2014Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
Woodward Canyon Columbia Valley Merlot 2014Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Keenan Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2014Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Grgich Hills Estate Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2014Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Frog's Leap Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2014Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Bonterra Organically Grown Merlot 2014Merlot from California
Frog's Leap Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2014Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
Alexander Valley Vineyards Merlot 2014Merlot from Sonoma County, California