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 Noir159
- Cabernet Sauvignon90
- Rhône Blends43
- Other Red Blends37
- Bordeaux Red Blends18
- Cabernet Franc6
- Tuscan Blends3
- Other Red Wine1
- Touriga Nacional1
- Nerello Mascalese1
Oberon Merlot 2018Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Decoy Merlot 2018Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Boomtown by Dusted Valley Merlot 2018Merlot from Washington
Textbook Merlot 2018Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Oxford Landing Merlot 2018Merlot from South Australia, Australia
Citra Merlot 2018Merlot from Abruzzo, Italy
Tortoise Creek The Revivalist Merlot 2018Merlot from Clarksburg, Yolo County, California
Acre Merlot 2018Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Leonetti Merlot 2018Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
Fat Bastard Merlot 2018Merlot from Pays d’Oc, South of France, France
Cousino Macul Merlot 2018Merlot from Chile
Bogle Merlot 2018Merlot from California
Elena Walch Merlot 2018Merlot from Alto Adige, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Parcel 41 Merlot 2018Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Merlot 2018Merlot from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Hourglass Blueline Vineyard Merlot 2018Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Ramsay Merlot 2018Merlot from North Coast, California