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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 reputation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What most 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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  • Forest Glen Barrel Select Merlot (half-bottle) 2001
    Merlot from California
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    • Provenance Vineyards Carneros Merlot (half-bottle) 2001 Front Label
      Provenance Vineyards Carneros Merlot (half-bottle) 2001
      Merlot from Carneros, California
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    • Alexander Valley Vineyards Merlot (half-bottle) 2001 Front Label
      Alexander Valley Vineyards Merlot (half-bottle) 2001
      Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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      • Wild Horse Merlot (half-bottle) 2001 Front Label
        Wild Horse Merlot (half-bottle) 2001
        Merlot from Central Coast, California
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      • Blackstone California Merlot (half-bottle) 2001 Front Label
        Blackstone California Merlot (half-bottle) 2001
        Merlot from California
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        • Blackstone Napa Merlot (half-bottle) 2001 Front Label
          Blackstone Napa Merlot (half-bottle) 2001
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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          • Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2001
            Merlot from Central Coast, California
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            • Clos Du Val Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2001 Front Label
              Clos Du Val Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2001
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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            • Clos du Bois Merlot (half-bottle) 2001 Front Label
              Clos du Bois Merlot (half-bottle) 2001
              Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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