Merlot is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world. Though seen by some as second-class (due in part by a certain American film about California wine...), Merlot is absolutely a top grape. It originates from the south-west of France, where it still represents 58% of the plantings in Bordeaux. It also thrives in California, Washington State, Australia, Italy, and Chile. In a blend or on its own, it offers aromas of red fruits, plums, raspberries, violets, and blackberries.