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Merlot

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture ...

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An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot can be made into a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the best wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol where it is blended with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, it plays a supporting role to Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly from California’s Napa Valley.

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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    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WW91
    4.7 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    56
    49 99
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    Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • WW90
    4.6 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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    28
    25 99
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    Chateau Mayne Vieil Cuvee Alienor 2015
    Merlot from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
    • WE93
    3.7 33 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    24
    17 99
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    Emmolo Merlot 2017
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      4.7 8 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $59.99
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      59 99
      59 99
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      Simi Merlot 2016
      Merlot from Sonoma County, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $23.99
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        23 99
        23 99
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        Nickel & Nickel Suscol Ranch Merlot 2015
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • JS92
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $57.99
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        65
        57 99
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        Spellbound Merlot 2016
        Merlot from California
          4.0 10 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $14.99
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          14 99
          14 99
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          Swanson Napa Valley Merlot 2016
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • RP90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $28.99
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          32
          28 99
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          Hourglass Blueline Vineyard Merlot 2015
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • RP93
          • JD93
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $84.99
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          84 99
          84 99
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          Whitehall Lane Merlot 2015
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • WE90
          4.6 7 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $29.99
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          32
          29 99
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          Rust en Vrede Merlot 2016
          Merlot from South Africa
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $23.99
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            23 99
            23 99
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            Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Vineyard Merlot 2016
            Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
            • WS89
            4.5 11 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $17.99
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            17 99
            17 99
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            Marilyn Napa Valley Merlot 2016
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $28.99
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              36
              28 99
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              J. Bookwalter Readers Merlot 2015
              Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
              • JS93
              • WE90
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $20.99
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              28
              20 99
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              Charles Smith Velvet Devil Merlot 2016
              Merlot from Washington
                4.0 17 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                11 99
                11 99
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                Decoy Merlot 2017
                Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                • WW89
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $20.99
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                25
                20 99
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                Wild Horse Merlot 2016
                Merlot from Central Coast, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                  19 99
                  18 99
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                  Ferrari-Carano Merlot 2015
                  Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                  • WS89
                  4.2 7 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                  22 99
                  22 99
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                  Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2015
                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                  • WW91
                  • WE90
                  3.9 39 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $51.99
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                  56
                  51 99
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                  Provenance Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2015
                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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                    42 99
                    42 99
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                    The Prisoner Wine Company Thorn Merlot 2016
                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $41.99
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                      41 99
                      41 99
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                      Century Cellars Merlot 2015
                      Merlot from California
                        4.3 13 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $8.99
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                        8 99
                        8 99
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                        Recanati Reserve Merlot 2016
                        Merlot from Israel
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                          17 99
                          17 99
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                          Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Merlot 2015
                          Merlot from California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                            24
                            16 99
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                            Lynsolence (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
                            Merlot from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
                            • RP95
                            • JD95
                            • JS94
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $36.97
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                            36 97
                            36 97
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