Merlot is making a comeback and I have 10 superb Merlots from around the globe that will make you fall in love with this varietal. It is a quiet varietal, understated and elegant, often associated with Bordeaux wines. Today is International Merlot Day, so Merlot is coming out of the closet and coming full front and center. In celebration of this wonderful grape, grab a few bottles from the list below and raise a glass to this noble varietal.
With a beautiful name like Merlot(means Little Black Bird in French) you know the varietal is just as precious. Merlot has flavors of juicy berries, exotic spice and cocoa powder. It’s a wine that is smooth, elegant and soft. A wonderful wine for autumn sipping, but because of its medium body it can be drunk year round and can be paired with almost any type of food. I love it with pastas, salads, turkey or even a big juicy steak. Merlot is approachable, fleshy, juicy and simply put DELICIOUS.
The gorgeous Merlot comes from Mt. Veeder in Napa Valley. Mt. Brave’s winemaker Chris Carpenter focuses his passion for Merlot on producing the very-best expressions of the grape from mountain sites. The concentrated berries of the Mt. Brave vineyard produce a Merlot with a complex texture with distinctive minerality and floral aromatics. Flavors of blue fruits and mocha abounds with a rounding texture that lifts this wine on your palate. The long, steady finish exhibits why mountain Merlot stands alone.
L’Ecole N° 41 is recognized as one of Washington State’s top producers of premium Merlot and this estate vineyard blend represents its best. This elegant Merlot reveals aromas of tobacco leaf, dark fruit, cedar, and earth. The rich texture of this wine is elevated by dense flavors of black cherry and French roast on a complex mineral finish.
A jewel from Saint-Emilion, this is a classic right bank Merlot. Clos Fourtet has the honor of being Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines of the Year in 2015. Clos Fourtet 2012 has a deep vermilion hue, an intense, already complex nose with notes of black fruits and spices coming through together with floral touches of violets and lilies. The palate is coated, silky, slightly liquorice and with a long, mineral finish.
One of California’s legendary vineyards, Three Palms is revered for its history and its benchmark Merlot. Duckhorn Three Palms has had the distinguishing honor of being Wine Spectator’s Number One Wine of the Year in 2017. Since its inaugural vintage in 1978, Duckhorn Vineyards has been proud to craft a vineyard-designate bottling from Three Palms. One of California’s first single-vineyard Merlots, this full-bodied wine reflects Three Palms’ unique terroir and has been a consistent benchmark for New World Merlot.
This is undeniably the best Merlot from Argentina. Made by the renowned winemaker from Petrus, Jean-Claude Berrouet. The wines name is a homage to its winemaker Jean Claude and exudes a personality that is more Right Bank Bordeaux. This is a rare Merlot from a single vineyard from San Pablo Estate, Uco Valley, Mendoza. The wine is deeply intense on the nose with its finesse and elegance. There are notes of red fruit, strawberries, licorice and cassis with hints of baking spice. It is a wine that represents the art of precision from the vineyard to the glass.
A high quality wine at a great price from Paso Robles. The Robert Hall Merlot has rich aromas of ripe black cherry accentuated by hints of cedar emanate from our 2016 Merlot. Lush, ruby-red color indicates the level of concentration yielded by the vintage and the vineyards. On the palate, rich flavors mirror the aromas and are complemented by soft, silky tannins on the finish.
This is a superb Merlot from Maremma in Tuscany, coming from the famed Cecchi Family. Born as a tribute to Maremma superior quality potential, the name ‘’Aurelio’’ is derived from the name of the beautiful scenic Ancient Consular Roman road that winds its way along the coastline of Southern Tuscany, leading from Rome to Southern France and named after the powerful family “Gens Aurelia”. A deep, rich ruby red in colour, Aurelio offers a rich bouquet of mature red fruits, intense dark spices, pepper and chocolate. On the palate Aurelio is supple, soft and opulent, with velvety tannins. Very well balanced with a long finish.
This classic Napa Valley Merlot comes from Charles Krug Winery. Dating back to 1861, Charles Krug is the oldest winery in Napa Valley. This Napa Valley Merlot has expressive aromas of ripe red and black fruit followed by hints of spice. Supple body and medium tannins envelop flavors of berry and cherry which linger on the palate through a long, smooth finish.
Markham Vineyards is another historic Napa Valley winery dating back to 1874. As pioneers of Napa Valley, Markham takes great pride in producing quality wines. Black cherry and cassis aromas are layered with hints of vanilla, mint and toasted nuts on this Merlot. Elegant and supple on the palate, the juicy plum and cherry fruit flavors are punctuated with cola and black pepper spice. The tannins remain chewy through to the finish. We would love to enjoy it with a bacon cheeseburger or more civilized lamb sliders for a delicious treat!
Yup, Dirty and Rowdy kills it again with this gem. 100% Merlot from Alder Springs Vineyard. Dirty and Rowdy is sought out by wine geeks everywhere and has taken the market by storm. Their wines almost immediately sell out and have a cult like following. This Merlot from Adler Springs is wonderfully juicy with hints of cherries, black currants and crushed granite minerality.