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 Noir1800
- Cabernet Sauvignon1594
- Other Red Blends1219
- Bordeaux Red Blends1028
- Rhône Blends516
- Other Red Wine220
- Petite Sirah129
- Cabernet Franc120
- Tuscan Blends64
- Nero d'Avola28
- Petit Verdot13
- St. Laurent5
- Nerello Mascalese3
- Pinot Meunier2
- Touriga Nacional1
- Alicante Bouschet1
Quilceda Creek Merlot 2006Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Ornellaia Masseto 2006Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2006Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
Clarendon Hills Brookman Merlot 2006Merlot from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
Lapostolle Merlot 2006Merlot from Chile
Pedestal Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Ravenswood Vintners Blend Merlot 2006Merlot from California
Bedell Cellars Merlot 2006Merlot from New York, Other U.S.
Marco Felluga Collio Merlot Varneri 2006Merlot from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Turnbull Merlot 2006Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Raymond Reserve Selection Merlot 2006Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Yarden Merlot (OK Kosher) 2006Merlot from Israel
Tin Roof Merlot 2006Merlot from California
Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates Taylor Peak Merlot 2006Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Sonoma Creek Merlot 2006Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Duckhorn Estate Grown Merlot 2006Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Vincent Bouquet Merlot Vin de Pays d'Oc 2006Merlot from Pays d’Oc, South of France, France
Vendange Merlot 2006Merlot from California
Frescobaldi Lamaione 2006Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
Brass Tacks Merlot 2006Merlot from Central Coast, California