Merlot is one of the five classic Bordeaux grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot), and is the foundation for high quality wines produced in the St. Emilion and Pomerol regions of France. During the 1990s and early 2000s, Merlot’s popularity among the wine drinking public in the U.S. led to price increases at the high end and the production of copious amounts of easy drinking, indistinguishable Merlot-based wines at the lower end. A backlash culminated in the 2004 movie Sideways, damaged Merlot’s reputation among the general wine drinking population. According to the Nielson Company, Merlot’s market share in U.S. supermarkets decreased from its peak of 12.4% in 2004 to 10.4% in 2006.

Merlot exhibits flavors similar to those found in Cabernet Sauvignon (black cherry, black currant, blackberry, herbs, spices) but is normally less tannic. In addition, Merlot’s acidity levels are typically lower than those found in Cabernet Sauvignon. The lower levels of tannin and acidity typically results in a softer, rounder mouth-feel.

California and Washington are Merlot leaders. Oregon, New York, Virginia, Idaho, Colorado, Texas and North Carolina have also demonstrated a nascent ability to produce high quality Merlot.

Merlot Articles:


Top Merlot Regions:

    Yountville AVA - Winery Search
    St. Helena AVA - Winery Search
    Walla Walla Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Napa Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Spring Mountain District AVA - Winery Search
    Red Mountain AVA - Winery Search
    Howell Mountain AVA - Winery Search
    Bennett Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Wahluke Slope AVA - Winery Search
    Horse Heaven Hills AVA - Winery Search
    Sonoma Mountain AVA - Winery Search
    Columbia Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Yakima Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Stags Leap District AVA - Winery Search
    Oakville AVA - Winery Search
    Sonoma Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Long Island AVA - Winery Search
    Knights Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Rutherford AVA - Winery Search
    Santa Ynez Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Los Carneros AVA - Winery Search
    El Dorado AVA - Winery Search
    Rogue Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Santa Cruz Mountains AVA - Winery Search
    Russian River Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Mount Veeder AVA - Winery Search
    Monticello AVA - Winery Search
    North Fork of Long Island AVA - Winery Search
    Alexander Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Paso Robles AVA - Winery Search
    South Coast and S. California - Winery Search
    Dry Creek Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Rattlesnake Hills AVA - Winery Search
    Umpqua Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Livermore Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Mendocino AVA - Winery Search
    Finger Lakes AVA - Winery Search
    Arroyo Seco AVA - Winery Search
    Lodi AVA - Winery Search
    Monterey AVA - Winery Search
    Calistoga AVA - Winery Search
    Sonoma County - Winery Search
    Santa Barbara County - Winery Search
    Temecula Valley AVA - Winery Search
    Moon Mountain AVA - Winery Search
    Kelsey Bench-Lake County AVA - Winery Search
    Hudson River Region AVA - Winery Search
    Templeton Gap District AVA - Winery Search
    Paso Robles Geneseo District AVA - Winery Search
    The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater AVA - Winery Search
    Paso Robles Highlands District AVA - Winery Search
    Calaveras County - Winery Search
    El Dorado County - Winery Search
    Eagle Foothills AVA - Winery Search
    Fountaingrove District AVA - Winery Search