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.
- Bordeaux Red Blends169
- Pinot Noir125
- Cabernet Sauvignon93
- Other Red Blends66
- Rhône Blends28
- Cabernet Franc9
- Other Red Wine6
- Tuscan Blends6
- Nero d'Avola2
- Petite Sirah2
- Touriga Nacional2
- Petit Verdot1
Clos Du Val Merlot 2011Merlot from Napa Valley, California
McIntyre Kimberly Vineyards Merlot 2011Merlot from Central Coast, California
San Simeon Merlot 2011Merlot from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2011Merlot from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
J. Bookwalter Foreshadow Merlot 2011Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Le Macchiole Messorio 2011Merlot from Tuscany, Italy