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An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture...
An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.
In the Glass
Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.
Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.
Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
- Red Wine323
- Pinot Noir1,779
- Cabernet Sauvignon1,053
- Other Red Blends901
- Bordeaux Red Blends650
- Rhône Blends502
- Other Red Wine161
- Petite Sirah85
- Cabernet Franc84
- Tuscan Blends39
- Nero d'Avola21
- Petit Verdot10
- Touriga Nacional3
Luna Vineyards Merlot 2013Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Longboard DaKine Vineyard Merlot 2015Merlot from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Vineyard Merlot 2013Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Domaines Barons de Rothschild Legende Saint Emilion 2013Merlot from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Clos Pegase Mitsuko's Vineyard Merlot 2014Merlot from Carneros, California
ONEHOPE California Merlot 2015Merlot from California
Coach House Cellars Merlot 2013Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Ca'Momi Merlot 2015Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Annabella Merlot 2014Merlot from California
De Novo Wines Zen Merlot 2014Merlot from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
Chatter Creek Merlot 2010Merlot from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
AVA Grace Merlot 2015Merlot from California
Chateau Mayne Vieil Cuvee Alienor 2014Merlot from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
Gainey Merlot 2014Merlot from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
Simi Merlot 2013Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Chloe Merlot 2015Merlot from San Lucas, Monterey, Central Coast, California
Twenty Rows Merlot 2014Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Merlot 2015Merlot from California
Firestone Merlot 2013Merlot from Central Coast, California
Folie a Deux Merlot 2013Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
Coach House Cellars Merlot 2011Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Markham Merlot 2015Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Decoy Merlot 2015Merlot from Sonoma County, California
Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2012Merlot from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
Burgess Merlot 2013Merlot from Napa Valley, California