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 Noir1455
- Cabernet Sauvignon1365
- Bordeaux Red Blends1054
- Other Red Blends964
- Rhône Blends454
- Other Red Wine174
- Cabernet Franc102
- Petite Sirah81
- Tuscan Blends48
- Nero d'Avola22
- Petit Verdot8
- Touriga Nacional5
- St. Laurent3
- Nerello Mascalese2
- Alicante Bouschet1
Ornellaia Masseto 2005Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
Tin Roof Merlot 2005Merlot from California
Penley Estate Gryphon Merlot 2005Merlot from Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
Pedestal Merlot 2005Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2005Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Whitehall Lane Merlot (half-bottle) 2005Merlot from Napa Valley, California
BV Century Cellars Merlot 2005Merlot from California
Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Merlot 2005Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Vineyard Merlot 2005Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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Raphael Merlot 2005Merlot from New York, Other U.S.
Concha y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Merlot 2005Merlot from Chile
Beringer Third Century Merlot 2005Merlot from North Coast, California
Raymond R Collection Merlot 2005Merlot from California
Meerlust Merlot 2005Merlot from South Africa
Turnbull Merlot 2005Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Newton Unfiltered Merlot 2005Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Vendange NV Merlot 2005Merlot from California
Trumpeter Merlot 2005Merlot from Argentina
Luna Vineyards Merlot 2005Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Hogue Genesis Merlot 2005Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Lapostolle Merlot 2005Merlot from Chile
Rombauer Merlot 2005Merlot from Carneros, California
Clos Du Val Merlot 2005Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Concannon Selected Vineyards Merlot 2005Merlot from Central Coast, California
Rutherford Hill Merlot 2005Merlot from Napa Valley, California