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.
- Cabernet Sauvignon762
- Pinot Noir461
- Other Red Blends407
- Bordeaux Red Blends362
- Rhône Blends191
- Other Red Wine45
- Petite Sirah34
- Tuscan Blends32
- Cabernet Franc28
- Nero d'Avola6
- Petit Verdot1
- Pinot Meunier1
- Alicante Bouschet1
Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2001Merlot from North Coast, California
Dynamite Vineyards Dynamite Merlot (1.5 Liter) 2001Merlot from North Coast, California
Camelot Merlot 2001Merlot from Central Coast, California
Barwang Vintners Selection Merlot 2001Merlot from Australia
Lindeman’s Bin Series Bin 40 Merlot 2001Merlot from Australia
Yellow Tail Merlot 2001Merlot from Australia
Yangarra Estate Vineyard Appellation Series Merlot 2001Merlot from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
Katnook Estate Merlot 2001Merlot from Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot 2001Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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Alfasi Merlot (OU Kosher) 2001Merlot from Chile
Zenato Merlot 2001Merlot from Veneto, Italy
Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2001Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Fortant Merlot (OU Kosher) 2001Merlot from Pays d’Oc, South of France, France
Clos Du Val Merlot 2001Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Wolffer Estate La Ferme Martin Merlot 2001Merlot from New York, Other U.S.
Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Merlot 2001Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Christian Moueix Merlot 2001Merlot from Bordeaux, France
Falesco Montiano 2001Merlot from Italy
Starmont Merlot 2001Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Stags' Leap Winery Estate Reserve Merlot 2001Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2001Merlot from Napa Valley, California