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 Noir156
- Cabernet Sauvignon72
- Bordeaux Red Blends61
- Other Red Blends53
- Rhône Blends28
- Cabernet Franc10
- Tuscan Blends7
- Other Red Wine5
- Nerello Mascalese3
- Nero d'Avola2
- Petite Sirah2
Decoy Merlot 2019Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Josh Cellars Merlot 2019Merlot from California
Candoni Organic Merlot 2019Merlot from Veneto, Italy
Fat Bastard Merlot 2019Merlot from Pays d’Oc, South of France, France
Indaba Merlot 2019Merlot from South Africa
Mirassou Merlot 2019Merlot from California
Elena Walch Merlot 2019Merlot from Alto Adige, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Domaine Bousquet Merlot 2019Merlot from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
Oxford Landing Merlot 2019Merlot from South Australia, Australia
Dante Merlot 2019Merlot from California
Trig Point Diamond Dust Vineyard Merlot 2019Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
Frei Brothers Reserve Merlot 2019Merlot from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
Lapostolle Grand Selection Merlot 2019Merlot from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
Camp Merlot 2019Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Firestone Merlot 2019Merlot from Central Coast, California
Textbook Merlot 2019Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Boomtown by Dusted Valley Merlot 2019Merlot from Washington
Leonetti Merlot 2019Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington