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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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  • Ornellaia Masseto 2007
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Ornellaia Masseto 2006
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2013
    Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
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  • Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2012
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Castello di Ama L'Apparita 2013
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Ornellaia Masseto 2010
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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  • Petrolo Galatrona 2013
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Ornellaia Masseto 1997
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2014
    Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
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  • Le Macchiole Messorio 2013
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Masseto 2014
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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    • WS94
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  • Masseto (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Le Macchiole Messorio 2012
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Ornellaia Masseto 1999
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Chateau Peby Faugeres 2014
    Merlot from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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  • Le Macchiole Messorio 2011
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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    • WE93
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  • Hickinbotham The Revivalist Merlot 2013
    Merlot from McLaren Vale, Australia
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    • WS91
    • JS90
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  • Avignonesi Desiderio Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Rocca di Frassinello Baffonero Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Hickinbotham The Revivalist Merlot 2014
    Merlot from McLaren Vale, Australia
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  • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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  • Castiglion del Bosco Dainero 2013
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Tenuta Luisa Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
    • JS91
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  • Chateau Marsau Cotes de Francs 2011
    Merlot from Cotes de Francs, Bordeaux, France
    • JS91
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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