Merlot is one of the best red wines, and there’s no better day to celebrate it than on Merlot Day. This day only comes once a year, so bust out that bottle you’ve been saving. If you’re keen to hear our top five favorite Merlots, stay tuned. First, I wanted to tell you a little about the Merlot.
It’s a varietal of grape grown in many regions around the world, including Italy, the United States, Australia, France, and Chile. It dates back to the 19th century in France. ‘Merlot’ is derived from the french word for ‘blackbird’. Although this is a lovely fun fact, no one knows for certain what the relationship is between the blackbird and the grape. Some think it’s because of the skin of the grape, whereas others believe it was because the birds enjoyed eating the grapes right off of the vines!
Now that you know a bit more about Merlot wine, let’s dive into our top 5 best merlot wine varietals:
Shadows Pedestal Merlot
The Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot is always a hit with the critics. In fact, just last year it made the top 100 on the Wine Enthusiast’s list. It originates from the Columbia Valley in Washington state. It has hints of dark raspberry and a very fruit-forward finish. It’s warm on the tongue and has notable spiciness to it.
Pride Mountains Vineyard Merlot
Plum, blueberry, and strawberry aroma waft from a glass of this beautiful Merlot. The Pride Mountains Vineyard Merlot is filled with berry and other fruity notes, with a tannin-heavy finish to round out the palate. This wine is bold, velvety, and rich. They even added in a touch of cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot to add a bit of something new to this Merlot.
Arietta Hudson Vineyards Merlot
Following years of drought, this Arietta Hudson Vineyards Merlot grew at the ideal time and under ideal conditions. This was grown in the renowned Napa Valley in California by the Arietta winery. Praising for its complexity, elegance, and grace. It has an earthy, oaky taste that also has bits of nutmeg and blueberry. This merlot was made from grapes that grew on the oldest vines in the winery, lendings itself to the proper ripening of the grapes before harvest.
Château Puygueraud 2015 Closerie de Bories
This merlot is only the second wine to come from this estate in France. The Chateau Puygueraud 2015 Closerie de Bories is ranked highly on the Wine Enthusiast’s list, and yet is only $20! It’s warm and well-rounded, with a dryness that really allows for the boldness of the tannins and the fruit to come through. The Wine Enthusiast list cautions against drinking it now though, and recommends waiting a couple more years to let it fully age to perfection. Maybe that’s why it’s so affordable right now?
Chateau Montet Bordeaux Merlot
I wanted to round out the list with a more affordable merlot. This Chateau Montet Boradeaux Merlot won’t exhaust your pocketbook and comes in at around 11 dollars. It’s from Bordeaux, France and has tones of plum and black cherry. Some have said it’s a bit like a floral bouquet in your mouth.