Merlot is a soft, fruity wine that is known best for being a major component in most Bordeaux blends. It is the second most popular red wine after Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, they share a parent, Cabernet Franc, which makes them half-siblings. The location of vinting will greatly affect the flavor of the wine, as Merlot grown in hotter climates (new world) are usually bolder and sweeter, as opposed to the savory taste of cool-climate (old world) Merlot. Merlot is one of the 18 noble grape varietals, being fruit forward with smooth tannins.