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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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19 Items
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    Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot (3 Liter Bottle) 2013
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS92
    • WE90
    4.5 2 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $239.97
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    Le Macchiole Messorio 2011
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • V96
    • JS95
    • WS94
    • RP94
    • W&S94
    • WE93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $264.99
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    300
    264 99
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    Masseto 2014
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS97
    • WS94
    5.0 1 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $619.99
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    700
    619 99
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    Castello di Ama L'Apparita 2013
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • V98
    • JS94
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $204.99
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    218
    204 99
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    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS92
    2.5 1 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $104.97
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    110
    104 97
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  • Flora Springs Windfall Vineyard Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1995
    Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
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      Currently Unavailable $99.97
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      99 97
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      Matthiasson Red Hen Vineyard Merlot 2012
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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        Currently Unavailable $84.99
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        84 99
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        Rombauer Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1995
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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          Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010
          Merlot from North Coast, California
          • RP90
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          Masseto (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
          Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
          • JS97
          • WS94
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $1,469.97
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          Rombauer Merlot (3 Liter) 1995
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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            Currently Unavailable $209.97
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            209 97
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            Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009
            Merlot from North Coast, California
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              Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot 2008
              Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                Currently Unavailable $139.97
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                Hickinbotham The Revivalist Merlot 2014
                Merlot from McLaren Vale, Australia
                • JH95
                • TP93
                • RP92
                • WS92
                • JS91
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $89.99
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                La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot 2014
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                • RP93
                • WS93
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $89.99
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                Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot 2009
                Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                • RP95
                • WS92
                • WE90
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                Currently Unavailable $139.97
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                139 97
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                Matthiasson Red Hen Vineyard Merlot 2013
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                  Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2014
                  Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
                  • JS98
                  • RP96
                  3.5 1 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $375.97
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                  Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot 2014
                  Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                  • RP94
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $99.97
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                  99 97
                  99 97
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