While merlot and cabernet sauvignon are both big reds, and occasionally confused when tasted without knowing, it is nonetheless a different grape and flavor profile. Despite this, they compliment one another, are frequently planted near one another, and blended. They also share flavors such as blackberry, black currant, and leather. So how are they different?
Merlot tends to also display flavors of cherries, plums, chocolate, and sometimes slight tea. Merlot is typically not quite as robust as cabernet sauvignon, and is referred to as being more soft and plump. It also typically has slightly gentler tannins. This isn’t always the case though, merlot can also make a lean wine with plenty of crispness.
Style: Primarily dry, oaked.
Notable Growing Locations: California, Chile* France: Bordeaux / Languedoc-Roussillon, Italy: Tre Venezie, New York: Long Island, Washington State.