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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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  • Flat front label of wine
    Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
    • WW98
    • CG93
    • WS92
    • WE92
    4.4 36 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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    95
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    Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012
    Merlot from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
    • CG96
    • WE93
    • WW93
    • JS92
    5.0 4 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $189.97
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    200
    189 97
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    Pedestal Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • CG96
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $105.00
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  • Flat front label of wine
    Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
    • CG96
    • WW93
    • WE93
    • JS92
    4.2 3 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $90.99
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    90 99
    90 99
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  • Flat front label of wine
    Pedestal Merlot 2006
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • CG96
    • RP94
    • WS93
    3.0 2 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    58 99
    44 99
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    Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2006
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE95
    • CG92
    4.0 2 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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    45
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  • Flat front label of wine
    Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • CG95
    5.0 1 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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    Pedestal Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • CG95
    • RP94
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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    Pahlmeyer Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • CG95
    • WS92
    3.8 4 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    90
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    Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2006
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE95
    • CG92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    21 99
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  • Flat front label of wine
    Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE95
    • CG92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $99.00
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  • Flat front label of wine
    Pride Mountain Merlot 2007
    Merlot from North Coast, California
    • WS94
    • RP92
    • CG92
    • WE91
    3.0 2 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    59 99
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  • Flat front label of wine
    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2002
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE94
    • CG91
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $53.99
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  • Flat front label of wine
    Pride Mountain Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2007
    Merlot from North Coast, California
    • WS94
    • CG92
    • RP92
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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    Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
    • CG91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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    57 99
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    Pride Mountain Merlot 2005
    Merlot from North Coast, California
    • WS93
    • RP91
    • CG91
    5.0 1 Ratings
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    62 97
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  • Flat front label of wine
    Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot 2006
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE93
    • CG93
    • W&S91
    4.8 3 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.00
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  • Flat front label of wine
    Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE93
    • CG93
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $145.00
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    Pride Mountain Merlot Wind Whistle 2000
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • CG93
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.97
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    89 97
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  • Flat front label of wine
    Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2007
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS92
    • CG90
    • RP90
    3.8 3 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    49 99
    49 99
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    Pride Mountain Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2003
    Merlot from North Coast, California
    • WS92
    • CG90
    2.0 1 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $249.97
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  • Flat front label of wine
    Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2007
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS92
    • RP90
    • CG90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    26 99
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    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2007
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE92
    • CG92
    4.2 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.97
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    49 99
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    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2007
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE92
    • CG92
    3.3 3 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    29 99
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  • Flat front label of wine
    Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2007
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS92
    • RP90
    • CG90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $105.00
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