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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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    Longboard DaKine Vineyard Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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      Currently Unavailable $22.99
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      Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Vineyard Merlot 2013
      Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
      • WS90
      4.0 38 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $11.99
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      Domaines Barons de Rothschild Legende Saint Emilion 2013
      Merlot from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
        3.8 3 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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        45
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        ONEHOPE California Merlot 2015
        Merlot from California
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          Currently Unavailable $13.99
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          Coach House Cellars Merlot 2013
          Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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            Currently Unavailable $17.99
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            Ca'Momi Merlot 2015
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
            • WW89
            3.9 11 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $15.99
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            Annabella Merlot 2014
            Merlot from California
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            4.0 1 Ratings
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            De Novo Wines Zen Merlot 2014
            Merlot from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
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              Chatter Creek Merlot 2010
              Merlot from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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                AVA Grace Merlot 2015
                Merlot from California
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                4.0 1 Ratings
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                Chateau Mayne Vieil Cuvee Alienor 2014
                Merlot from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
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                • WW92
                3.4 92 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                Gainey Merlot 2014
                Merlot from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
                  4.7 3 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                  Simi Merlot 2013
                  Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                    4.0 6 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                    Chloe Merlot 2015
                    Merlot from San Lucas, Monterey, Central Coast, California
                      3.5 1 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                      Twenty Rows Merlot 2014
                      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                        Currently Unavailable $20.99
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                        Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Merlot 2015
                        Merlot from California
                          3.7 13 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                          Firestone Merlot 2013
                          Merlot from Central Coast, California
                            5.0 1 Ratings
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                            Folie a Deux Merlot 2013
                            Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                            4.2 7 Ratings
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                            Markham Merlot 2015
                            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                              4.4 4 Ratings
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                              Coach House Cellars Merlot 2011
                              Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
                                5.0 1 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                                Decoy Merlot 2015
                                Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                                • WW91
                                3.4 21 Ratings
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                                Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2012
                                Merlot from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
                                • WS92
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                                4.7 6 Ratings
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                                Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot (3 Liter Bottle) 2013
                                Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                                4.5 2 Ratings
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                                Burgess Merlot 2013
                                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                  1.0 1 Ratings
                                  Currently Unavailable $28.99
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                                  St. Francis Reserve Merlot 2014
                                  Merlot from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                                  0.0 0 Ratings
                                  Currently Unavailable $41.99
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