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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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314 Items
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314 Items
  • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS92
    Currently Unavailable $45.99
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  • Chateau Mayne Vieil Cuvee Alienor 2014
    Merlot from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
    • WE92
    • WW92
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  • The Prisoner Wine Company Thorn Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S90
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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  • Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE91
    • RP91
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  • Swanson Napa Valley Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • TP92
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  • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
    • JS90
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  • Wines of Substance Super Substance Northridge Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP94
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  • Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    • Le Macchiole Messorio 2012
      Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
      • RP97
      • JS96
      • WS95
      • W&S94
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    • Hall Napa Valley Merlot 2014
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • WS92
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    • Carmenet Merlot 2015
      Merlot from California
        Currently Unavailable $9.99
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      • Ornellaia Masseto 2006
        Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
        • RP100
        • JS99
        • V99
        • WS98
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        929 97
        929 97
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      • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • WS92
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      • Decoy Merlot 2015
        Merlot from Sonoma County, California
        • WW91
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      • J. Bookwalter Readers Merlot 2014
        Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • WE90
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      • Ornellaia Masseto 2010
        Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
        • RP98
        • JS98
        • WE97
        • WS95
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        739 99
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      • Ca'Momi Merlot 2015
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • WW89
        Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      • Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Vineyard Merlot 2013
        Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • WS90
        Currently Unavailable $14.98
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      • Markham Merlot 2014
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • WS89
        • WW89
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      • Columbia Crest H3 Merlot 2014
        Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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        • Parcel 41 Merlot 2015
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
            Currently Unavailable $16.99
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            16 99
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          • Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Merlot 2012
            Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
            • WS91
            • WE90
            Currently Unavailable $29.99
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            35
            29 99
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          • Keenan Mailbox Vineyard Spring Mountain Reserve Merlot 2014
            Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
            • W&S94
            • RP93
            Currently Unavailable $79.99
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          • Cakebread Merlot 2014
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              Currently Unavailable $79.99
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              79 99
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            • Rutherford Hill Merlot 2014
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                22 99
                22 99
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