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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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  • Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2002 Front Label
    Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2002
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE94
    • WS93
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    79 97
    79 97
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  • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2002 Front Label
    Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2002
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    3.9 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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    57 99
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  • Cakebread Merlot 2002 Front Label
    Cakebread Merlot 2002
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE91
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    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    59 99
    59 99
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  • Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2002 Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2002
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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      49 99
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    • Stags' Leap Winery Merlot 2002 Front Label
      Stags' Leap Winery Merlot 2002
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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        Currently Unavailable $35.99
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        35 99
        35 99
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      • Rombauer Merlot 2002 Front Label
        Rombauer Merlot 2002
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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          Currently Unavailable $27.99
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        • Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2002 Front Label
          Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2002
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • RP90
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          Currently Unavailable $65.99
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          65 99
          65 99
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        • Duckhorn Estate Grown Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2002
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • W&S93
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          Currently Unavailable $119.97
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        • Wolffer Estate The Grapes of Roth Merlot 2002 Front Label
          Wolffer Estate The Grapes of Roth Merlot 2002
          Merlot from New York, Other U.S.
          • RP92
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $62.00
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          62
          62
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        • Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2002 Front Label
          Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2002
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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            44 99
            39 99
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          • Keenan Reserve Merlot 2002 Front Label
            Keenan Reserve Merlot 2002
            Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
            • RP94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $129.00
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            129
            129
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          • Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot 2002 Front Label
            Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot 2002
            Merlot from Sonoma County, California
            • RP93
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $129.00
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            129
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          • Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot 2002 Front Label
            Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot 2002
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
            • RP92
            • WS91
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $59.98
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            59 98
            59 98
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