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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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  • Petrolo Galatrona 2004 Front Label
    Petrolo Galatrona 2004
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS98
    • WS97
    • WE97
    • RP97
    • W&S90
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    Currently Unavailable $139.97
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    139 97
    139 97
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  • O'Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Merlot 2004 Front Label
    O'Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.97
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    79 97
    79 97
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  • Chateau La Fleur de Gay  2004 Front Label
    Chateau La Fleur de Gay 2004
    Merlot from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
    • RP91
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    Currently Unavailable $124.99
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    124 99
    124 99
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  • Chateau Le Moulin  2004 Front Label
    Chateau Le Moulin 2004
    Merlot from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
      4.2 6 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $45.99
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      56
      45 99
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    • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2004 Front Label
      Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2004
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • WE90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $64.99
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      64 99
      64 99
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    • Leonetti Merlot 2004 Front Label
      Leonetti Merlot 2004
      Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
      • RP94
      • WE92
      • WS91
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      Currently Unavailable $109.97
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      109 97
      109 97
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    • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2004 Front Label
      Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2004
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $54.97
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        54 97
        54 97
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      • Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2004 Front Label
        Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2004
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • WS92
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        Currently Unavailable $57.99
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        57 99
        57 99
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      • Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot 2004 Front Label
        Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot 2004
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • CG95
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $74.99
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        74 99
        74 99
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      • PlumpJack Merlot 2004 Front Label
        PlumpJack Merlot 2004
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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          Currently Unavailable $69.97
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          69 97
          69 97
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        • Chateau Moulin Pey-Labrie  2004 Front Label
          Chateau Moulin Pey-Labrie 2004
          Merlot from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
          • WS90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $43.97
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          43 97
          43 97
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        • Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2004 Front Label
          Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2004
          Merlot from North Coast, California
          • WS94
          • WE90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $179.97
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          179 97
          179 97
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        • Ornellaia Masseto 2004  Front Label
          Ornellaia Masseto 2004
          Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
          • WS98
          • RP96
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $899.97
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          899 97
          899 97
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