Once considered only a blending grape, Merlot has found itself on the forefront of the wine world.. It is grown in all major wine producing countries, but in California it seems to garner the highest honors. Not neccesarily because it grows the best or the vintners are the best, but because of a loophole in California Wine Labeling Laws. A wine can be label Merlot and still contain up to 25% other grapes, whereas in other countries, it is 100% or nothing. The popularity of Merlot is in due alrge part by the ease of pronunciation of the grape as well as the ease on the palate of the grape. Merlot tends to be rather soft and fruity with very slight tannins. The wine does not require extended bottle age which also is added bonus especially for consumers who do not have a wine cellar.Although the grape has great attributes, it excels when blended with other grapes, usually Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc as done in Bordeaux. Be sure to check our Meritage pages also, If you are searching for a specific Merlot based wine. A final note on Merlot. Some very reasonable wines are being produced in Southern hemisphere, most notable Africa, Australia, and South America.