An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture ...
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.
In the Glass
Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.
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 permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.
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 Noir1452
- Cabernet Sauvignon1343
- Bordeaux Red Blends1042
- Other Red Blends966
- Rhône Blends441
- Other Red Wine207
- Cabernet Franc102
- Petite Sirah83
- Tuscan Blends47
- Nero d'Avola23
- Petit Verdot8
- Touriga Nacional5
Whitehall Lane Merlot (half-bottle) 2005Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Penley Estate Gryphon Merlot 2005Merlot from Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
Tin Roof Merlot 2005Merlot from California
Vendange NV Merlot 2005Merlot from California
Atalon Merlot 2005Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Christian Moueix Merlot 2005Merlot from Bordeaux, France
Christian Moueix Merlot Encore 2005Merlot from Bordeaux, France
BV Century Cellars Merlot 2005Merlot from California
Parducci Merlot 2005Merlot from North Coast, California
Ecco Domani Merlot 2005Merlot from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Chateau La Colline Merlot 2005Merlot from Southwest, France
Canyon Road Merlot 2005Merlot from California
Little Penguin Merlot 2005Merlot from Australia
Marco Felluga Collio Merlot Varneri 2005Merlot from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Callaway Coastal Merlot 2005Merlot from California
Two Vines Columbia Valley Merlot 2005Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Hayman & Hill Napa Valley Merlot 2005Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Alice White Merlot 2005Merlot from Australia