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Merlot

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture ...

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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.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

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 permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

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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    Frog's Leap Merlot (3 Liter Bottle) 2009
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $152.00
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    152
    152
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    Parducci Small Lot Blend Merlot 2009
    Merlot from North Coast, California
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      Currently Unavailable $10.99
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      10 99
      10 99
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      Veramonte Merlot Reserva 2009
      Merlot from Chile
      • RP87
      • WS87
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      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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      14 99
      14 99
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      Rutherford Ranch Merlot 2009
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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        17 99
        17 99
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        Yalumba Y Series Merlot 2009
        Merlot from Australia
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          Currently Unavailable $10.97
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          12 99
          10 97
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          Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Merlot 2009
          Merlot from Chile
          • WS90
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          Currently Unavailable $18.99
          Try the 2015 Vintage 26 99
          23 99
          18 99
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          Hall Napa Valley Merlot 2009
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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            Currently Unavailable $31.99
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            31 99
            31 99
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            Wines 4 Cures 4 Wishes Napa Valley Merlot 2009
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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              Currently Unavailable $14.99
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              14 99
              14 99
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              Wines 4 Cures 65 Roses Napa Valley Merlot 2009
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                14 99
                14 99
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                Luna Vineyards Merlot 2009
                Merlot from North Coast, California
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                  Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                  19 99
                  15 99
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                  Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2009
                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                    49 99
                    49 99
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                    Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2009
                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                      Currently Unavailable $38.98
                      Try the 2015 Vintage 43 99
                      42
                      38 98
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                      Frog's Leap Merlot 2009
                      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                      • W&S90
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                      34
                      29 99
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