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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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    Querciabella Palafreno 2010
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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    Woodward Canyon Columbia Valley Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    St. Supery Rutherford Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
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    Veramonte Merlot Reserva 2009
    Merlot from Chile
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    Woodward Canyon Columbia Valley Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Luna Vineyards Merlot 2002
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Merlot 2009
    Merlot from Chile
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    Markham Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Hall Napa Valley Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    4.1 17 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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  • Bonterra Organically Grown Merlot 1998
    Merlot from North Coast, California
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    Luna Vineyards Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Chateau Moulin Pey-Labrie 2004
    Merlot from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
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    St. Supery Rutherford Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
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    Seven Hills Winery Seven Hills Vineyard Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS92
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    3.7 7 Ratings
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    Markham Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    4.3 46 Ratings
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    Markham Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Henschke Lenswood Abbotts Prayer Merlot 1996
    Merlot from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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  • Henschke Lenswood Abbotts Prayer Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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