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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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    Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2001
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS90
    • RP90
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  • Chateau Golan Winery Royal Reserve Merlot 2001
    Merlot from Israel
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      Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2001
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • WE91
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      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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      Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2001
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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        Petrolo Galatrona 2001
        Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
        • WS96
        • RP94
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        Stags' Leap Winery Merlot 2001
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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          Currently Unavailable $34.99
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        • Rombauer Merlot 2001
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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            Currently Unavailable $29.99
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          • Duckhorn Howell Mountain Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2001
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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              Duckhorn Estate Grown Merlot 2001
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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              • RP94
              • WS91
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              Currently Unavailable $79.99
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              Etude Napa Valley Merlot 2001
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              • WS92
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              Cakebread Merlot 2001
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                Currently Unavailable $63.99
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                Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2001
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                Currently Unavailable $54.99
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                Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2001
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                • RP90
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                Currently Unavailable $61.99
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                Blankiet Paradise Hills Merlot 2001
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                • RP91
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                Ornellaia Masseto 2001
                Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
                • WS100
                • JS100
                • RP98
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                Blankiet Paradise Hills Merlot (1.5 liter-bottle) 2001
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                • RP91
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                259
                259
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                Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2001
                Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
                • RP95
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                Currently Unavailable $299.00
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                Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2001
                Merlot from North Coast, California
                • WS93
                • RP90
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                Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2001
                Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
                • WS95
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                Currently Unavailable $149.00
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                149
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