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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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  • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS92
    Currently Unavailable $45.99
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    54
    45 99
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    Ships Mon, Mar 5
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  • Chateau Mayne Vieil Cuvee Alienor 2014
    Merlot from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
    • WE92
    • WW92
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    24
    17 99
    Save $6.01 (25%)
    Ships Mon, Feb 26
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  • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2014
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS92
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    26 99
    26 99
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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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    45
    38 99
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  • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
    • JS90
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    65
    59 99
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  • Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      34
      29 99
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    • Wines of Substance Super Substance Northridge Merlot 2014
      Merlot from Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley, Washington
      • RP94
      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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      39 99
      39 99
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    • Hall Napa Valley Merlot 2014
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • WS92
      Currently Unavailable $34.99
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      40
      34 99
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      Ships Mon, Feb 26
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    • Ornellaia Masseto 2006
      Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
      • RP100
      • JS99
      • V99
      • WS98
      Currently Unavailable $929.97
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      929 97
      929 97
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      Pre-sale: Ships after 03/23/2018
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    • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • WS92
      Currently Unavailable $104.97
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      110
      104 97
      Save $5.03 (5%)
      Ships Mon, Feb 26
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    • J. Bookwalter Readers Merlot 2014
      Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
      • WE90
      Currently Unavailable $23.99
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      28
      23 99
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      Ships Wed, Feb 28
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    • Ornellaia Masseto 2010
      Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
      • RP98
      • JS98
      • WE97
      • WS95
      Currently Unavailable $739.99
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      739 99
      739 99
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      Ships Mon, Feb 26
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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
      189 99
      Save $35.01 (16%)
      Ships Mon, Feb 26
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    • Parcel 41 Merlot 2015
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        Currently Unavailable $16.99
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        16 99
        16 99
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      • Decoy Merlot 2015
        Merlot from Sonoma County, California
        • WW91
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        25
        19 99
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      • Ca'Momi Merlot 2015
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • WW89
        Currently Unavailable $13.99
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        22
        13 99
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      • Markham Merlot 2014
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • WS89
        • WW89
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        26
        19 99
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      • Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2012
        Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • WE91
        • RP91
        Currently Unavailable $34.99
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        41
        34 99
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      • Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2014
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • RP92
        • WW92
        • V91
        Currently Unavailable $31.99
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        31 99
        31 99
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        Ships Wed, Feb 28
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      • Matanzas Creek Winemaker's Reserve Merlot (Sonoma Barrel Auction) 2013
        Merlot from Bennett Valley, Sonoma County, California
          Currently Unavailable $39.99
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          39 99
          39 99
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          Ships Mon, Feb 26
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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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          79 99
          79 99
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        • Carmenet Merlot 2015
          Merlot from California
            Currently Unavailable $9.99
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            9 99
            9 99
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            Ships Mon, Feb 26
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          • Trefethen Merlot 2014
            Merlot from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
            • WW92
            • TP91
            Currently Unavailable $32.99
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            40
            32 99
            Save $7.01 (18%)
            Ships Mon, Feb 26
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          • Cakebread Merlot 2014
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              Currently Unavailable $79.99
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              79 99
              79 99
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              Ships Mon, Feb 26
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            • PlumpJack Merlot 2015
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              • RP90
              Currently Unavailable $59.99
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              59 99
              59 99
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              Ships Mon, Feb 26
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