Merlot

Species: Vitis Vinifera
Parentage: Offspring of Cabernet Franc
Aliases: Picard, Langon
Grape Color: Black
Regions: Bourdeaux, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Chilean Central Valley, Australia


The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding red wine grape, which also happens to be a close cousin to Cabernet Sauvignon. Used for both blending and as a varietal, this grape originates from France’s Bordeaux region, and is a primary grape in Bordeaux wine.

Two thirds of the world’s total planted Merlot grapes are grown in France. After that, it is Italy’s 5th most planted grape. Merlot surged to popularity in the United States in the 1990s.

Contrary to its Vitis Vinifera sibling, Pinot Noir, Merlot grows in loose bunches of berries. It’s a fragile grape, and its early ripening qualities make it vulnerable to risks such as frost and rotting. That being said, Merlot wines tend to be Read more »

Mentor for Merlot Wines

Wisequeen Donna Jackson

Passionate wine enthusiast/writer/consultant.Specialist on Italy, where She has made her home and kingdom for the past decade. Travels extensively in Europe and New world,Portugal,Douro, South Africa,and in particular Bordeaux style wines, loves Dolcetto

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Popular Merlot wines

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Popular Regions for Merlot View all

  • California

    Viticulture in California began in the 1700s as Spanish missionaries worked their way north fro...

  • France

    Perhaps no country evokes such strong associations with fine wine as does France. Its reputatio...

  • Napa

      There is some debate over how this famous wine region got its name. Spanish settlers named...

  • USA

    "American Wine" has existed since the first Europeans brought their vinous heritage and tradition...

  • Bordeaux

    Located around the Gironde estuary and along the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, Bordeaux is one o...

  • Australia

    The history of wine-making in Australia dates back to the late 1700s when the first European se...

  • Sonoma County

      Wine-making in Sonoma, California began in 1812 when Russian colonists planted grapes at F...

  • Italy

    Wine in Italy is as much an integral part of everyday culture as love, family, cuisine and usin...

  • Chile

    Winemaking was first introduced to Chile by Spanish settlers in the 1500’s, but it wasn’t until...

Popular Wineries using Merlot

  • Rockledge Vineyards

    High on the eastern slopes of Napa Valley just south of the town of St. Helena is a saddle covere...

  • Livingston Cellars

    Since 1984 and 17 years, the de facto estate wine of Livingston Moffett winery has been bottled ...

  • Matchbook

    Our Vision. "Produce wines we love to drink at prices we don't mind paying

  • Estancia Estates

    Estancia’s winemakers strive to combine the best of both worlds: a state-of-the art winemaking fa...

  • Dark Horse Wine

    Named 2007 Winemaker of the Year by the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, winemaker Michael Loykasek ha...

  • Rex Goliath

    At age 70, I have had at least 50 yrs. of a glass of wine after my evening meals. Just recently,...

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Merlot on Snooth

  • Thanks for the map to illustrate what I was pointing towards, Fox. If Clos du Bois were not wanting to say where they sourced their fruit, with an area as large and amorphous as the 'North Coast', it would then come almost entirely back to the winemaker. "As far as I'm concerned, there isn't any Vancouver Island or Gulf Island wine."Would be ver... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Clos du Bois North Coast...


  • If 2010 was cold and things couldn't ripen, then how to explain 2011 ... ... ... tasting like the kind of merlot that's popular?  '11 was really lean and cool. I think '10 was moving along as a cool vintage and had been, in many cases, raised accordingly, but then the heat spikes burned a lot of fruit.  The key was selection--surprisingly, a l... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Clos du Bois North Coast...


  • Renault Winery Merlot White Merlot NV

    Snoothrank:

    Most of wines I've tasted and purchased have a prevailing earthy under taste. Merlot, Chablis, etc. Don't know if its a regional or temporary attribute. Read More

    Wine review by tfruley


  • Good Merlot (almost an oxymoron, I know) comes from extremely over-ripe fruit that is raisining. In California it was impossible to have that in 2010 because they could not leave the fruit hanging long enough to achieve that level of ripeness. This the "off vintage" designation.Personally I found 2010 to be a good vintage for many of the wines I... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Clos du Bois North Coast...


  • Inama Carmenere Piu 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Tight and focused on the nose with a thin veneer of oak restraining peppery and ... brings out the cocoa note of Merlot on the nose and the fruit gets plumper and plummier in the mouth,. though on the backend this retains tension and a firmness that is appealing. The finish is fairly long and quite structured, firm even with lingering earthy fr... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • With one final nod to experimentation this year, I’m leaving you with ... with the softer tannins of Merlot and the vibrant fruit of Cabernet Sauvignon. The trick, when it comes to Carmenere, is taming the herbaceousness to make an integrated and attractive accent to the ripe, but still mostly red fruit the variety is capable of. It’s a hit or... Read More

    From the article Explore this Fall with Carmenere


  • DM,As far as I'm concerned, there isn't any Vancouver Island or Gulf Island wine.  My friend Chester would say there ARE a few Pinot's that are good, but I'm not a Pinot fan at the best of times.  So, when I say BC wine, I mean Okanagan. I had a 2003 Clos Du Bois Marlstone (meritage) a couple years ago and it was good, not stellar.To further emp... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Clos du Bois North Coast...


  • It's not just the year, but the year for specific locations and microclimates. DV, I'm assuming wines that come out of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands don't have the same 'vintages' as those over in the Okanagan, much less further east on the Niagara bench.Just as in Canada, so as in CA, WA, OR, France, Italy, etc., especially over larger ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Clos du Bois North Coast...


  • Hey Melissa,This is why vintages are important.  BC vintage years 2010 and ... as most.  There was a merlot I loved (Township 7, $25).  2007 was incredible, almost like Amarone.  2008 was fantastic, 2009 was great.  2010 was like a totally different wine.  Like there was no fruit.  Same with a cab/merlot blend I loved.  2010 sucked.  2012 is lo... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Clos du Bois North Coast...


  • For over 10 years Clos du Bois North Coast Merlot was my go -to red.  Well balanced, fruit forward, moderate spice, off dry, silky smooth and long, lush finish..  Then, in the 2010 vintage, something went horribly wrong.  The dominant note was a cinnamon-nutmeg-jalapeno concoction.  Stopped drinking it all together.  Then my husband bought the 2... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Clos du Bois North Coast...


  • best tasting Merlot ever! I would buy it again!

    Comment by 930758boyertown 930758 boyertown


  • When I got cancer my treatment made any alcholol taste like metal. So, for eighteen years I stopped drinking and enjoying a drink with family & friends. Then I started experimenting with different wines. Finally found a Merlo with a smoothness I enjoyed. But, with a price of $12. When we went to Trader Joes and they suggested we try Chas. ...

    Comment by 809819thebkkp 809819 thebkkp


  • i have a bottle of 2000 casella peronal selection merlot, is this wine OK to give as a gift

    Comment by 793786helengraham 793786 helengraham


  • Thick and smooth. Dark as ruby. Tastes like heaven... Merlot.

    Comment by 792549Vasilya81 792549 Vasilya81


  • Has anyone ever heard of this wine..I took this off the label Curioso Garcia, De Chile Merlot San Alfornso Estate Maipo Valley Chile Would love to purchase this in the states, not really concerned with the year

    Comment by 792512Diesel1815 792512 Diesel1815


  • My husband and I had a bottle of Cesari Due Torri 2005 and it was one of the best wines we have ever had, but can't find it anywhere. Do they still bottle it ?

    Comment by 764032rboez2 764032 rboez2


  • An economical surprise, I happened on Red Diamond 2007 Merlot, and tried it because it was from Washington State, which I had recently visited and enjoyed the wines from the region. Yummy plummy and cherry roundness on my tongue!

    Comment by 537182granvin 537182 granvin


  • Does anyone know anything about Dealu Mare Romania Merlot 2002

    Comment by 508578MEJD 508578 MEJD


  • I hv a Bin 888 cabernet merlet 2004, It is still seal packed. I just wanted to know whether this is consumable now.

    Comment by 475506rajan pd singh 475506 rajan pd singh


  • is it on Snooth the Merlot Gibilmoro?

    Comment by 461833Licia Cardillo 461833 Licia Cardillo


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