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13 Top Merlots from Around the World


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Rich, plump and full of hedonistic delight, Merlot is the red grape that everyone loves or loves to hate. Despite this dichotomy, it is grown throughout the globe and yields a variety of expressions and styles in a wide range of price points—from value to ultrapremium.

Bordeaux is undoubtedly the spiritual home of Merlot, where the Right Bank regions of Saint-Émilion and Pomerol deliver iconic benchmark expressions of the variety that are destined for long-term aging. Reds from Côtes de Bordeaux appellations of Blaye and Bourg are typically Merlot dominant and offer some of the best value-driven options.

Outside of France, Merlot has also reached icon status in select areas of Tuscany and Napa, where the grape thrives in the relatively warm climates. These wines display the bold, plummy nature and soft tannins expected in the variety, but each brings their own regional nuance to the table. Washington, Colorado and New York round out the domestic options for Merlot, offering the full gamut of price points—from well-priced weekday options to age-worthy, contemplative pours.