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 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 Noir183
- Rhône Blends75
- Cabernet Sauvignon63
- Other Red Blends49
- Cabernet Franc20
- Bordeaux Red Blends19
- Other Red Wine8
- Petite Sirah7
- Tuscan Blends7
- Nero d'Avola6
- Nerello Mascalese2
- Alicante Bouschet1
Oxford Landing Merlot 2018Merlot from South Australia, Australia
Pacific Redwood Organic Merlot 2018Merlot from North Coast, California
Wente Sandstone Merlot 2018Merlot from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
Frog's Leap Merlot 2018Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
Kenwood Merlot 2018Merlot from North Coast, California
Candoni Organic Merlot 2018Merlot from Veneto, Italy
Hahn Merlot 2018Merlot from Central Coast, California
Bonterra Organically Grown Merlot 2018Merlot from California
La Playa Estate Merlot 2018Merlot from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
Broadside Margarita Vineyard Merlot 2018Merlot from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Tortoise Creek The Revivalist Merlot 2018Merlot from Clarksburg, Yolo County, California
Domaine Bousquet Merlot 2018Merlot from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
Camp Merlot 2018Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Frog's Leap Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2018Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
Alexander Valley Vineyards Merlot 2018Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
Trig Point Diamond Dust Vineyard Merlot 2018Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
Vino de Eyzaguirre Merlot 2018Merlot from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile