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Merlot

Learn about Merlot — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

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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.

Tasting Notes for Merlot

Merlot is a dry, red wine known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry and raspberry. From cool climates, Merlot wines will express earthy and herbal notes, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Food Pairings for Merlot

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 are a hit with pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secrets for Merlot

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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  • Hickinbotham The Revivalist Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Hickinbotham The Revivalist Merlot 2012
    Merlot from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $51.99
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      75
      51 99
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    • Lava Cap Reserve Merlot 2012 Front Label
      Lava Cap Reserve Merlot 2012
      Merlot from El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
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        Currently Unavailable $23.98
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        23 98
        23 98
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      • Hestan Vineyards Stephanie Merlot 2012 Front Label
        Hestan Vineyards Stephanie Merlot 2012
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $48.99
          Try the 2015 Vintage 44 99
          48 99
          48 99
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        • McIntyre Kimberly Vineyards Merlot 2012 Front Label
          McIntyre Kimberly Vineyards Merlot 2012
          Merlot from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $22.99
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            22 99
            22 99
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          • K Vintners Northridge Merlot 2012 Front Label
            K Vintners Northridge Merlot 2012
            Merlot from Washington
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              Currently Unavailable $54.99
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              54 99
              54 99
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            • Matthiasson Red Hen Vineyard Merlot 2012 Front Label
              Matthiasson Red Hen Vineyard Merlot 2012
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $64.98
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                80
                64 98
                Save $15.02 (19%)
              • Seven Hills Winery Columbia Valley Merlot 2012 Front Label
                Seven Hills Winery Columbia Valley Merlot 2012
                Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
                • WE91
                • WS91
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $25.99
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                25 99
                25 99
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              • Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot 2012 Front Label
                Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot 2012
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                • RP95
                • WS92
                • JS90
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $69.97
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                69 97
                69 97
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              • Cotes de Ciel Ciel du Cheval Vineayrd Merlot 2012 Front Label
                Cotes de Ciel Ciel du Cheval Vineayrd Merlot 2012
                Merlot from Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
                • WE92
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $38.99
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                38 99
                38 99
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              • Sebastiani Alexander Valley Merlot 2012 Front Label
                Sebastiani Alexander Valley Merlot 2012
                Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                • WS90
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                29 99
                29 99
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              • Formidable Napa Valley Merlot 2012 Front Label
                Formidable Napa Valley Merlot 2012
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                  3.3 9 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $9.99
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                  25
                  9 99
                  Save $15.01 (60%)
                • Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2012 Front Label
                  Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2012
                  Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $59.97
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                    59 97
                    59 97
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                  • Teira Merlot 2012 Front Label
                    Teira Merlot 2012
                    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                      16 99
                      16 99
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                    • Le Macchiole Messorio 2012 Front Label
                      Le Macchiole Messorio 2012
                      Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
                      • RP97
                      • JS96
                      • WS95
                      • W&S94
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $169.99
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                      225
                      169 99
                      Save $55.01 (24%)
                    • Lynsolence  2012 Front Label
                      Lynsolence 2012
                      Merlot from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
                      • RP94
                      • WS90
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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                      39 99
                      39 99
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                    • Woodward Canyon Columbia Valley Merlot 2012 Front Label
                      Woodward Canyon Columbia Valley Merlot 2012
                      Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
                      • WE92
                      • RP90
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $43.99
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                      52
                      43 99
                      Save $8.01 (15%)
                    • Outpost Immigrant True Vineyard Merlot 2012 Front Label
                      Outpost Immigrant True Vineyard Merlot 2012
                      Merlot from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $115.00
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                        115
                        115
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                      • La Jota W.S. Keyes Merlot 2012 Front Label
                        La Jota W.S. Keyes Merlot 2012
                        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                        • RP96
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $134.99
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                        150
                        134 99
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                      • Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Merlot 2012 Front Label
                        Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Merlot 2012
                        Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
                        • WS91
                        • WE90
                        3.9 9 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                        35
                        29 99
                        Save $5.01 (14%)
                      • Robert Foley Vineyards Merlot 2012 Front Label
                        Robert Foley Vineyards Merlot 2012
                        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                        • WS93
                        • RP93
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $59.97
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                        59 97
                        59 97
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                      • Alpha Omega Merlot 2012 Front Label
                        Alpha Omega Merlot 2012
                        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $44.97
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                          44 97
                          44 97
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                        • Ramspeck Merlot 2012 Front Label
                          Ramspeck Merlot 2012
                          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                            16 99
                            16 99
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                          • Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2012 Front Label
                            Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2012
                            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                            • RP98
                            • JS98
                            • WS93
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $299.99
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                            345
                            299 99
                            Save $45.01 (13%)
                          • Pepper Bridge Winery Merlot 2012 Front Label
                            Pepper Bridge Winery Merlot 2012
                            Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
                            • RP91
                            • W&S91
                            • WE90
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $49.99
                            Try the 2014 Vintage 52 99
                            49 99
                            49 99
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