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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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  • 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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  • Pedestal Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006 Front Label
    Pedestal Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • CG96
    • RP94
    • WS93
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    Currently Unavailable $139.97
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    139 97
    139 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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  • Chateau Le Moulin  2006 Front Label
    Chateau Le Moulin 2006
    Merlot from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
    • RP90
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    49 99
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  • Leonetti Merlot 2006 Front Label
    Leonetti Merlot 2006
    Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE96
    • W&S92
    • RP91
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    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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    74 99
    74 99
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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
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $105.00
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    105
    105
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  • Pedestal Merlot 2006 Front Label
    Pedestal Merlot 2006
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • CG96
    • RP94
    • WS93
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    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    58 99
    44 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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  • Petrolo Galatrona (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006 Front Label
    Petrolo Galatrona (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • WS96
    • RP95
    • WE95
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    Currently Unavailable $279.00
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    399
    279
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  • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2006 Front Label
    Pahlmeyer Merlot 2006
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    • WE91
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    Currently Unavailable $71.99
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    90
    71 99
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  • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (3 Liter Bottle) 2006 Front Label
    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (3 Liter Bottle) 2006
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE92
    • CG90
    • RP90
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    Currently Unavailable $160.00
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    208
    160
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  • Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2006 Front Label
    Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2006
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP97
    • WE96
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $249.99
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    330
    249 99
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  • Ornellaia Masseto (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006 Front Label
    Ornellaia Masseto (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP99
    • JS99
    • WS98
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $1,439.00
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    1,439
    1,439
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