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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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  • Matthiasson Red Hen Vineyard Merlot 2011 Front Label
    Matthiasson Red Hen Vineyard Merlot 2011
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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      80
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    • Clarendon Hills Brookman Merlot 2011  Front Label
      Clarendon Hills Brookman Merlot 2011
      Merlot from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
      • WW90
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      45
      29 99
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    • L'Ecole 41 Estate Merlot 2011 Front Label
      L'Ecole 41 Estate Merlot 2011
      Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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        36 99
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      • Coach House Cellars Merlot 2011 Front Label
        Coach House Cellars Merlot 2011
        Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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          25
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        • Efeste Upright Merlot 2011 Front Label
          Efeste Upright Merlot 2011
          Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
          • WS91
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          39
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        • Feudi del Pisciotto Valentino Merlot 2011 Front Label
          Feudi del Pisciotto Valentino Merlot 2011
          Merlot from Sicily, Italy
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          • Sebastiani Alexander Valley Merlot 2011 Front Label
            Sebastiani Alexander Valley Merlot 2011
            Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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              29 99
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            • McIntyre Kimberly Vineyards Merlot 2011 Front Label
              McIntyre Kimberly Vineyards Merlot 2011
              Merlot from Central Coast, California
              • WE90
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              19 99
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            • Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot 2011 Front Label
              Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot 2011
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              • WS90
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              62 99
              62 99
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            • Castello di Ama L'Apparita 2011 Front Label
              Castello di Ama L'Apparita 2011
              Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
              • JS98
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              Currently Unavailable $179.00
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            • Trinchero Vista Montone Vineyard Daybreak Block Merlot 2011 Front Label
              Trinchero Vista Montone Vineyard Daybreak Block Merlot 2011
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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              • Le Macchiole Messorio 2011 Front Label
                Le Macchiole Messorio 2011
                Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
                • JS95
                • WS94
                • RP94
                • W&S94
                • WE93
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                Currently Unavailable $264.99
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                300
                264 99
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              • Pepper Bridge Winery Merlot 2011 Front Label
                Pepper Bridge Winery Merlot 2011
                Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
                • WE91
                • RP91
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                Currently Unavailable $51.99
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                51 99
                51 99
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              • Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2011 Front Label
                Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2011
                Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
                • RP96
                • WS95
                • D95
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                Currently Unavailable $259.99
                Try the 2016 Vintage 52 99
                259 99
                259 99
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