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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. But the grape also has enough stuffing to make serious, world-renowned wines. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, in St. Emilion and Pomerol, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, 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 with Cabernet Franc.

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314 Items
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    Trefethen Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
    • D95
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    • WW93
    • TP91
    4.4 12 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $35.99
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    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WW91
    • WE90
    3.9 20 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $47.99
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    56
    47 99
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    Emmolo Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      4.2 19 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $53.99
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      Tenuta Guado al Tasso Cont Ugo 2015
      Merlot from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
      • WS93
      • V93
      • RP92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $59.99
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      Columbia Crest H3 Merlot 2015
      Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
      • JS90
      4.1 27 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $9.98
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      15
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      Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2014
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • WW92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $59.99
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      65
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      Masseto 2015
      Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
      • RP100
      • JS99
      • WS98
      4.6 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $799.99
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      Cakebread Merlot 2015
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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        Substance Super Substance Northridge Merlot 2015
        Merlot from Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley, Washington
        • RP94
        • JD94
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $36.99
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        Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Vineyard Merlot 2013
        Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • WS90
        4.1 55 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $14.99
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        18
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        Decoy Merlot 2016
        Merlot from Sonoma County, California
        • WW89
        4.6 11 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $20.99
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        Leonetti Merlot 2016
        Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
        • JS95
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        • RP93
        • WS92
        • WE92
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $79.99
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        Provenance Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2016
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • RP90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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        Chateau Mayne Vieil Cuvee Alienor 2014
        Merlot from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
        • WE92
        • WW92
        3.6 140 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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        24
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        PlumpJack Merlot 2016
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • JD93
        • RP92
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $69.99
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        The Prisoner Wine Company Thorn Merlot 2014
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • W&S90
        4.1 30 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $37.99
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        Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2014
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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          Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • WS92
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          Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Merlot 2016
          Merlot from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
          • WW91
          • RP90
          4.5 6 Ratings
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          Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot 2014
          Merlot from Sonoma County, California
          • WW90
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          Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2015
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • WW91
          0.0 0 Ratings
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          Santa Ema Reserve Merlot 2015
          Merlot from Maipo Valley, Chile
          • JS91
          4.2 19 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $12.99
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          Carmenet Merlot 2015
          Merlot from California
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            Currently Unavailable $10.99
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            Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Merlot 2013
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              4.0 15 Ratings
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              Swanson Napa Valley Merlot 2015
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                3.9 6 Ratings
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