Merlot is a popular red wine varietal with an abundant taste of fruit and a soft silky texture. This easy drinking wine is a combination of Cabernet Franc and Magdeleine Noire des Charentes. This makes it a close relative of Cabernet Sauvignon, and sometimes the two are confused at a higher end.
As a wine, Merlot is soft and velvety with notes of plum, cassis, and other dark fruit flavors as well as herbal notes of pine or black tea. For a red wine, Merlot does mature pretty quickly, but there are some examples that can spend decades in the bottle developing.
In the United States, Merlot grapes are widely grown in California and Washington, where varieties of Merlot can range from very fruity to more serious, dry aged examples.