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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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  • David Arthur Estate Merlot 2006  Front Label
    David Arthur Estate Merlot 2006
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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      49 97
      49 97
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    • Darioush Signature Merlot 2006 Front Label
      Darioush Signature Merlot 2006
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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        Currently Unavailable $54.97
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        54 97
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      • Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2006 Front Label
        Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2006
        Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
        • RP96
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        Currently Unavailable $184.97
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        184 97
        184 97
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      • Ornellaia Masseto 2006  Front Label
        Ornellaia Masseto 2006
        Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
        • RP100
        • JS99
        • WS98
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        1,249 97
        1,249 97
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      • Clarendon Hills Brookman Merlot 2006 Front Label
        Clarendon Hills Brookman Merlot 2006
        Merlot from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
        • RP92
        • WS90
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        65
        29 99
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      • Schweiger Vineyards Merlot 2006 Front Label
        Schweiger Vineyards Merlot 2006
        Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
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          44 97
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        • Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2006 Front Label
          Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2006
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • WE95
          • CG92
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          21 99
          21 99
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        • Selene Frediani Merlot 2006 Front Label
          Selene Frediani Merlot 2006
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • WS91
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          Currently Unavailable $32.99
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          32 99
          32 99
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        • Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot 2006 Front Label
          Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot 2006
          Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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            Currently Unavailable $85.00
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            85
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          • Chateau La Fleur de Gay  2006 Front Label
            Chateau La Fleur de Gay 2006
            Merlot from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
            • RP92
            • WE92
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            Currently Unavailable $105.00
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            105
            105
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          • Chateau Le Moulin  2006 Front Label
            Chateau Le Moulin 2006
            Merlot from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
            • RP90
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            49 99
            49 99
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          • Petrolo Galatrona 2006  Front Label
            Petrolo Galatrona 2006
            Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
            • WS96
            • RP95
            • WE95
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            Currently Unavailable $129.97
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            129 97
            129 97
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          • Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2006 Front Label
            Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2006
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
            • WE95
            • CG92
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            Currently Unavailable $42.99
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            45
            42 99
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          • Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2006 Front Label
            Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2006
            Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
            • RP97
            • WE96
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            Currently Unavailable $249.99
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            330
            249 99
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          • JAQK Cellars Black Clover Napa Merlot 2006 Front Label
            JAQK Cellars Black Clover Napa Merlot 2006
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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              Currently Unavailable $33.89
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              47 99
              33 89
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            • JAQK Cellars Bone Dance Merlot 2006 Front Label
              JAQK Cellars Bone Dance Merlot 2006
              Merlot from California
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                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                28 99
                19 99
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