Obviously taste in mouthpieces is a personal thing. I have about twenty, including 5 HR Links, 2 metal Links, a Morgan, a Jody Jazz, etc. My 10mFan 6* Robusto is by far the best, and I like it because it is not edgy. I use Vandoren V16 2.5/3 or Rigotti 3, and a Silverstein Works or Marc Jean ligature.
Merlot is a French grape varietal used in Bordeaux wines. Merlot is French for " blackbird".
Extremely informative, subtle and balanced - everything a really good review should be but sadly so few are. For those not planning on investing substantial sums in mouthpieces Aldevis' comments on a variety of reeds is illuminating and useful.