One of the best things about Merlot, besides its combination of robustness and approachability, and its ability to be paired with almost any food, is its incredible amount of variety that exists within the scope of various Merlot wines. Different climates and regions can produce very different tastes in this particular varietal—Merlot often referred to as a “chameleon” among wines because of this, since Merlot grown in various climates can mimic other varietals’ flavor profiles—meaning it’s quite versatile, and just because you’ve had a couple Merlots doesn’t mean you’ve anywhere near experienced all the wine has to offer.
On that note, Vine Vera has elected to, today, share with you some of our own favorite Merlots with you, so you yourself can experience everything the varietal has to offer.
Beringer Vineyards: Beringer’s Napa Valley is above average in quality, giving you the usual taste profile of a rich Merlot with character. They also make a Merlot called Founders Estate that’s much simpler and more approachable, but still quite tasty.
Chateau St. Jean: This winery’s Merlot Sonoma County is very bold and well-rounded, with cherry notes being prominent, in addition to hints of more unusual flavors including herbs and even leather.
Rodney Strong Vineyards: Rodney Strong is world-class, and spans a great number of vineyards. Their Sonoma County Merlot boasts rather soft tannins, easy drinkability, and a very fruity profile.
Chateau Ste. Michelle: Considered one of the top wineries in the stat of Washington, their Columbia Valley Merlot is produced from a blend of grapes from vineyards all over the valley. It’s light and fruity, making it very easy to drink, while still having the richness of any good Merlot.
Hogue Cellars: Incredibly inexpensive while maintaining quality, and managing to be above-average, Hogue’s Merlot is supple, well-defined, fruity, and a deep, balanced character overall.
From Toscana, Italy
Masseto: This 17-acre vineyard produces a merlot that has especially powerful fruit flavors, with blackberry and cherry featuring quite prominently. You’re also likely to pick up strong notes of chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon. Tannins are quite soft and smooth, and the finish is smooth yet powerful and satisfying.
Messorio: This Merlot is very much characteristic of the varietal, and boasts all the hallmarks in strong, robust capacity. Soft but rich with a hugely complex flavor profile, this Merlot is not a wine you’re likely to soon forget.
From Bordeaux, France
92 Chateau Nenin Pomerol: Light in Character, yet still retains the opulence associated with a quality Merlot. Very fresh, with blackberry notes being the strongest here by far, with an overall very powerful, yet smooth flavor.