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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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    Chateau La Bastienne Montagne-St.-Emilion 2016
    Merlot from Bordeaux, France
    • JS93
    • WW92
    • RP90
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    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WW91
    • WE90
    3.9 37 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    56
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    Benziger Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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      Chateau Mayne Vieil Cuvee Alienor 2015
      Merlot from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
      • WE93
      3.7 25 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $17.99
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      24
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      Swanson Napa Valley Merlot 2016
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • RP90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $27.99
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      32
      27 99
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      Murphy-Goode California Merlot 2015
      Merlot from California
        4.5 5 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $14.99
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        Markham Merlot 2016
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          4.4 14 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $21.99
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          25
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          Pahlmeyer Merlot 2015
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • JS96
          • WE95
          • RP95
          4.4 7 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $99.99
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          Pedestal Merlot 2015
          Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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          • RP94
          • JS94
          • WE92
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          Currently Unavailable $59.99
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          Napa Cellars Merlot 2017
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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            Lynsolence (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
            Merlot from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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            • JD95
            • JS94
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            Columbia Crest H3 Merlot 2016
            Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
              4.1 8 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $14.99
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              Nickel & Nickel Suscol Ranch Merlot 2015
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              • JS92
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              Currently Unavailable $57.99
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              14 Hands Merlot 2016
              Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                12 99
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                Oberon Merlot 2016
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                • WW92
                4.2 43 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                23
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                Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot 2015
                Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
                  3.7 5 Ratings
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                  Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot 2014
                  Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                  • WW90
                  4.9 8 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                  Joel Gott Merlot 2016
                  Merlot from California
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                    Cakebread Merlot 2015
                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                      4.3 7 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $66.99
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                      Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Merlot 2014
                      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                      • JS93
                      4.2 12 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $36.99
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                      Annabella Merlot 2015
                      Merlot from California
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                        Sterling Napa Merlot 2015
                        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                        • JS91
                        4.2 7 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                        22 99
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                        Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain Merlot 2016
                        Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
                        • JS90
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                        Currently Unavailable $73.99
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                        Pepperwood Grove Merlot
                        Merlot from Chile
                          3.6 31 Ratings
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                          Trefethen Merlot 2016
                          Merlot from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
                          • D96
                          • JS92
                          • WE90
                          4.8 5 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $42.99
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