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.
- Cabernet Sauvignon786
- Pinot Noir466
- Other Red Blends410
- Bordeaux Red Blends370
- Rhône Blends195
- Other Red Wine46
- Petite Sirah35
- Tuscan Blends32
- Cabernet Franc29
- Nero d'Avola6
- Petit Verdot1
- Pinot Meunier1
- Alicante Bouschet1
Pahlmeyer Merlot 2001Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Simi Alexander Valley Merlot 2001Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
St. Francis Behler Vineyard Reserve Merlot 2001Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Dynamite Vineyards Dynamite Merlot (1.5 Liter) 2001Merlot from North Coast, California
Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot 2001Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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Barwang Vintners Selection Merlot 2001Merlot from Australia
Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Merlot 2001Merlot from Chile
Cartlidge & Browne Merlot 2001Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Yellow Tail Merlot 2001Merlot from Australia
Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2001Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Walla Walla Vintners Merlot 2001Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
Yangarra Estate Vineyard Appellation Series Merlot 2001Merlot from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
Alfasi Merlot (OU Kosher) 2001Merlot from Chile
Pepperwood Grove Merlot 2001Merlot from California
Zenato Merlot 2001Merlot from Veneto, Italy
Wolffer Estate La Ferme Martin Merlot 2001Merlot from New York, Other U.S.
Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Merlot 2001Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Clos du Bois Merlot 2001Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Brown Brothers Patricia Reserve Merlot 2001Merlot from Australia
Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Merlot 2001Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Stags' Leap Winery Estate Reserve Merlot 2001Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Woodward Canyon Columbia Valley Merlot 2001Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2001Merlot from Napa Valley, California