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Merlot

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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

Sommelier Secret

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.

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11 Items
Sort:
11 Items
  • Le Macchiole Messorio 2013
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP98
    • W&S97
    • WS96
    • JS96
    • WE93
    Currently Unavailable $179.99
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    179 99
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  • Le Macchiole Messorio 2011
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • V96
    • JS95
    • WS94
    • RP94
    • WE93
    Currently Unavailable $249.99
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  • Le Macchiole Messorio 2012
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP97
    • JS96
    • WS95
    • W&S94
    Currently Unavailable $189.99
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    225
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  • Rocca di Frassinello Baffonero Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP95
    • JS93
    • WS93
    Currently Unavailable $219.99
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    235
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  • Chateau La Clusiere 2000
    Merlot from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • RP100
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  • Leonetti Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS93
    • RP93
    Currently Unavailable $99.99
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  • Hickinbotham The Revivalist Merlot 2013
    Merlot from McLaren Vale, Australia
    • JH96
    • WS91
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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  • Lambert Bridge Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
      Currently Unavailable $134.97
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    • Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot 2014
      Merlot from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
      • WS95
      Currently Unavailable $95.00
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    • Duckhorn Rector Creek Merlot 2010
      Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
      • WE93
      Currently Unavailable $89.00
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    • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • WW92
      • WE90
      • WS90
      Currently Unavailable $99.99
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