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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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322 Items
  • Luna Vineyards Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WW89
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  • Clos du Bois California Merlot 2016
    Merlot from California
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    • ONEHOPE California Merlot 2014
      Merlot from California
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      • Simi Merlot 2013
        Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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        • Ca'Momi Merlot 2015
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • WW89
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        • Longboard DaKine Vineyard Merlot 2014
          Merlot from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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          • Domaines Barons de Rothschild Legende Saint Emilion 2013
            Merlot from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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            • Clos Pegase Mitsuko's Vineyard Merlot 2014
              Merlot from Carneros, California
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              • J. Bookwalter Foreshadow Merlot 2013
                Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
                • WE90
                • RP90
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              • Cupcake Vineyards Merlot 2014
                Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                • Gainey Merlot 2014
                  Merlot from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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                  • Swanson Napa Valley Merlot 2013
                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                    • TP92
                    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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                  • Geyser Peak Merlot 2014
                    Merlot from California
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                    • Waterbrook Collector's Series Merlot 2013
                      Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                      • Wine Spots Napa Valley Merlot 2012
                        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                        • WW90
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                      • Annabella Merlot 2014
                        Merlot from California
                        • WW89
                        Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                      • Twenty Rows Merlot 2014
                        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                        • Mirassou Merlot 2015
                          Merlot from California
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                          • Taft Street Alexander Valley Merlot 2012
                            Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                            • Chateau Mayne Vieil Cuvee Alienor 2014
                              Merlot from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
                              • WE92
                              • WW92
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                            • Trefethen Merlot 2014
                              Merlot from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
                              • WW92
                              • TP91
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                            • Petrolo Galatrona 2013
                              Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
                              • JS98
                              • RP97
                              • W&S94
                              • WS92
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                              105
                              79 99
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                            • William Hill Central Coast Merlot 2014
                              Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                              • One Chain Vineyards The Exhibitionist 2014
                                Merlot from Australia
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                                • Noble Vines 181 Lodi Merlot 2014
                                  Merlot from Lodi, California
                                  • WE90
                                  Currently Unavailable $9.99
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