Merlot is a dark blue-coloured wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. Of the two main styles of producing Merlot, The "International style" is favoured by many New World wine regions tends to emphasize late harvesting to gain physiological ripeness and produce inky, purple coloured wines that are full in body with high alcohol and lush, velvety tannins with intense, plum and blackberry fruit.
In South Africa, Merlot is grown in the Stellenbosch coastal region, which is the second oldest in South Africa. It is most often used as a blending grape with Cabernet Sauvignon as in Bordeaux. Unblended Merlots are known as dependably easy drinking, fruit forward wines with soft tannins.