Merlot wines usually have a medium body and an herbaceous aroma and taste. The luxuriant mouth-feel is due to the lower natural acidity in the grape. The majority of Merlot wines are produced to be consumed young, usually within 1-2 years of the vintage. Higher quality Merlot wines can benefit from aging anywhere between 3-15 years from the vintage date. Merlot is lighter than other red wines and is frequently blended with richer reds to mellow their flavors. Merlot bouquets and flavors most frequently include currant, black cherry, plum, violet, rose, caramel, clove, bay leaf, green peppercorn, bell pepper, and green olive. Merlot wines have different bouquets / flavors depending on how they are processed / aged. Wines processed / aged in light Oak have bouquets / flavors of vanilla, coconut, and sweet wood; while wines produced in heavy Oak have bouquets / flavors of oak, smoke, toast, and tar. Merlot wines that are bottle aged have bouquets / flavors of truffle, mushroom, earth, coffee, leather, cedar and cigar box.
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