Merlot is a red grape variety, productive and of early sprout growth. The merlot bunch is cylindrical, small and sparse. The grain is small, thick-skinned, blue-black and with sweet flesh.

The name comes from the French diminutive mirlo, probably for the similarity with the black plumage of the bird.

Merlot is originally from the Bordeaux region, where it is the most cultivated variety. It has become an international variety.