Synonym for the grape variety Merlot; see there.
The red grape variety comes from France. The name is probably derived from the French word for blackbird (merle), because these birds like to nibble on the very sweet berries when fully ripe. However, the name can also be an allusion to the black-blue colouring of the berries similar to that of the bird. There are more than 60 synonyms, which testify the worldwide distribution. The most important are Alicante Noir, Begney, Bigney, Bigney Rouge, Bini, Black Alicante, Blue Merlot, Bordò, Cabernet del Cleto, Crabutet, Crabutet Noir, Crabutet Noir Merlau, Hebigney, Higney, Médoc Noir, Merlau, Merlot Black, Merlot Blue, Merlot Crni, Merlot Nero, Merlot Noir, Merlott, Merlou, Picard, Pikard, Plant Médoc, Saint Macaire, Sémillon Rouge, Vidal and Vitraille.
It must not be confused with the Carmenère, Menoir or Saint-Macaire varieties, despite the fact that they appear to have synonyms or morphological similarities. Since Carmenère and Merlot vines are very similar in appearance, vines imported overseas were very often planted in mixed sets in the vineyard. For this reason, the Carmenère variety has long been mistaken in Chile for a variety of Merlot. DNA analyses carried out by Dr. Ferdinand Regner (Austria) in 1999 had already identified the Merlot parent Cabernet Franc (father). But it was not until ten years later, in 2009, that Jean-Michel Boursiquot identified the variety Magdeleine Noire des Charentes (mother) as the second parent.
The varieties Abouriou, Cabernet...