Merlot, the basic French grape that’s an indispensable part of Bordeaux, is lastly making a comeback in america after being unceremoniously trashed by Paul Giamatti’s wine snob in “Sideways.” Whereas that 2004 movie is credited with a notable drop in Merlot gross sales, it could have additionally signaled that American Merlot producers wanted some powerful like to shake them out of late-Twentieth-century complacency.
For those who’ve been cautious of Merlot, concern not. With low tannins and typical notes of blueberry, darkish chocolate, and cracked pepper, Merlot is called an easy-drinking wine that performs nicely with a wide range of meals. To assist spotlight some excellent bottles, we’ve pulled collectively a listing of the very best we’ve tried this yr.
Listed here are 12 of the very best Merlots you should purchase proper now, with hyperlinks to full evaluations by VinePair tastings director Keith Beavers.
Finest Merlots Underneath $25
Kenwood Vineyards Mendocino | Sonoma Merlot 2018
Delicate notes of berries and ripe cherries are the spotlight of this Merlot, melding nicely with its gentle tannins. An inexpensive possibility meant for informal consuming, this wine is nice for weeknights at residence.
Common worth: $12
Murphy-Goode Merlot 2019
The proper grab-’n-go when heading to gatherings, this wine is all about protecting the get together going. Its easy, tender blackberry jam and black cherry flavors lighten the boozy punch this wine packs, protecting it easygoing.
Common worth: $18
Backsberg Merlot 2019
This South African Merlot presents extra than simply plush darkish fruit notes. Coming from an authorized carbon-neutral vineyard, this wine has a delightful grip that’s enhanced by its comparatively greater stage of alcohol (14.5 % ABV). Simple to take pleasure in and an inexpensive worth level additionally make this bottle an excellent choice to prepare dinner with and sip.
Common worth: $20
Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Merlot 2019
Hailing from the Columbia Valley in Washington, this Merlot has a moody vibe of chocolate cherry candies, spiced oak, and deep fruit. The concentrated flavors are properly balanced by the acidity making it simple to sip alone or with meals.
Common worth: $20
Cliff Creek Cellars Merlot 2017
Merlot is understood for its softer traits however this bottle is bursting with concentrated fruit that’s vibrant and refreshingly acidic. Its tannic body supplies a pleasant construction for notes of plum and anise to shine. Fairly priced, this bottle is a superb alternative for sharing.
Common worth: $32
Robert Corridor Vineyard Merlot 2019
You’re in all probability acquainted with the Robert Corridor title and should know that the vineyard focuses on crafting well-balanced, inexpensive wines like this Merlot. With outstanding flavors of cherry cola blended with dried herbs, this wine is a go-to for pizza and fast weeknight dinners.
Common worth: $20
Finest Merlots Underneath $50
L’Ecole No. 41 Merlot 2019
For those who’re looking for one thing slightly completely different you’ll take pleasure in this bottle, which options tight berries, earthy notes, and a barely higher-than-average alcohol content material (14.5 % ABV). With hints of woody notes, this wine is the perfect pairing for savory dishes like steak tartare.
Common worth: $27
Finest Merlots Underneath $100
Silverado Vineyards Mt. George Winery Merlot 2019
Some grip on the palate offers this wine a textural part that blends nicely with its pure oak flavors. Its understated tannins, in the meantime, make it really feel huge however not overbearing. Excellent for informal dinner events and vacation gatherings with pals, this wine gained’t disappoint.
Common worth: $58
Seize Merlot 2019
The distinctive rising situations of the Napa Valley give this wine a signature high-acid and fruit-forward character. There’s a pleasant cherry cola scent on the nostril and palate, and the physique is plump with core fruit. Take pleasure in with steak dinners or different heavy meals.
Common worth: $65
Cuvaison Merlot Arcilla 2019
An American Merlot to make your palate sing, this wine is texturally expressive, has inviting aromas, and serves a clean, lingering end. The palate has a velvet really feel that’s offset by delicate tannins and notes of black tea.
Common worth: $70
Sullivan Rutherford Property Merlot 2019
In an space well-known for its Cabernet and Merlot blends, this wine reveals simply how nice the grape could be by itself. It has a welcoming profile of blended herbs and wealthy berries that immediately hit the nostril earlier than giving option to a chic but agency palate. Properly definitely worth the worth, this wine will enchant even the fussiest of Cab drinkers.
Common worth: $85
Mt. Courageous Merlot
Don’t be delay by the excessive alcohol (14.5 % ABV) of this wine; it’s expertly balanced with luxe mountain fruit and acidity. A giant and daring wine with deep flavors and heat notes, this Merlot is a pleasure to drink on colder nights.
Common worth: $90
What sort of wine is Merlot?
Merlot is a crimson wine identified for being tender, ripe, elegant, and simple to drink. It originated within the Bordeaux area of France and is the second hottest crimson grape in America after Cabernet Sauvignon.
Is Merlot a very good wine for freshmen?
Merlot is usually really helpful as one of many first varieties somebody new to crimson wine ought to drink resulting from its approachability, plummy style, and tender traits.
Is Merlot a powerful wine?
Merlot wines usually comprise round 13.5 % ABV however can method 14.5 % and past, particularly when grown within the hotter climates of Australia, California, or Chile.
VinePair’s tasting methodology
All year long, VinePair conducts quite a few tastings for our standard Purchase This Booze column, and wine and spirits evaluations. Our mission is to supply a transparent, dependable supply of knowledge for drinkers, offering an outline relevant to day-to-day shopping for and consuming.
Tastings aren’t usually carried out blind. In alignment with our evaluations mission, we consider in purposefully tasting all merchandise as our readers usually would, with full data of the producer, the area, and — importantly — the worth.
For Purchase This Booze roundups, we usually embrace a most of 1 expression per model, although we do enable a number of merchandise from the identical manufacturing facility (i.e., launched beneath completely different labels).
For this Merlot roundup, we got down to take into account the very best wines from a variety of places and worth factors. From notable to up-and-coming areas, we seemed for wines whose taste profiles went past the grape’s commonplace traits. The lower-priced bottles of the checklist symbolize these with essentially the most steadiness and focus at their worth factors. As for the dearer inclusions, these wines had been chosen resulting from their nuanced notes and total complexity.