Synonym (also Higney) for the grape variety Merlot; see there.
This red grape variety comes from France. The name is probably derived from the French word for blackbird (merle), because these birds like to nibble the berries, which are very sweet when fully ripe. However, the name may also be an allusion to the black-blue colouring of the berries similar to the bird. There are over 60 synonyms, which testify to its 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 seemingly suggestive 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 was long mistakenly thought to be a variety of Merlot in Chile. As early as 1999, DNA analyses by Dr. Ferdinand Regner (Austria) identified Cabernet Franc (father) as the Merlot parent. But it was not until ten years later, in 2009, that Jean-Michel Boursiquot identified Magdeleine Noire des Charentes (mother) as the second parent.