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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’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. But the grape also has enough stuffing to make serious, world-renowned wines. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, in St. Emilion and Pomerol, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

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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27 Items
27 Items
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    Pahlmeyer Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    • RP95
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    Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2015
    Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
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    • JD96
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    Masseto 2015
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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    • JS99
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    4.7 6 Ratings
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    Columbia Crest H3 Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JS90
    4.0 42 Ratings
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    Pedestal Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Nickel & Nickel Suscol Ranch Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS92
    4.2 7 Ratings
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    Nickel & Nickel Bear Flat Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
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    Santa Ema Reserve Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Maipo Valley, Chile
    • JS91
    4.2 21 Ratings
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    Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • D90
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    3.9 25 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    Mt. Brave Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
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    L'Ecole 41 Columbia Valley Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Lapostolle Grand Selection Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
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    Oxford Landing Merlot 2017
    Merlot from Australia
    • JS88
    3.6 5 Ratings
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    Tellus Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Lazio, Italy
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    3.6 9 Ratings
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    Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Cachapoal Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
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    L'Ecole 41 Estate Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Hickinbotham The Revivalist Merlot 2014
    Merlot from McLaren Vale, Australia
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    • TP93
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    Milbrandt The Estates Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Le Macchiole Messorio 2014
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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    Falesco Famiglia Cotarella Lazio Montiano 2014
    Merlot from Lazio, Italy
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    Andrew Will Winery Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Barone Ricasoli Casalferro 2013
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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    Rocca di Frassinello Baffonero Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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    Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2016
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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