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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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  • Petrolo Galatrona 2011 Front Label
    Petrolo Galatrona 2011
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS99
    • WS94
    • RP94
    • W&S90
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    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $109.97
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    109 97
    109 97
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  • Cakebread Merlot 2011 Front Label
    Cakebread Merlot 2011
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $64.99
      Try the 2018 Vintage 69 99
      64 99
      64 99
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    • Planeta Sito dell’Ulmo Merlot 2011 Front Label
      Planeta Sito dell’Ulmo Merlot 2011
      Merlot from Sicily, Italy
      • WE90
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      Currently Unavailable $47.98
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      47 98
      47 98
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    • Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Merlot 2011 Front Label
      Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Merlot 2011
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • WE90
      • D90
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      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $27.99
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      27 99
      27 99
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    • Ornellaia Masseto 2011 Front Label
      Ornellaia Masseto 2011
      Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
      • JS100
      • WS97
      • RP95
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      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $699.00
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      699
      699
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    • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2011 Front Label
      Pahlmeyer Merlot 2011
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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        Currently Unavailable $89.00
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        89
        89
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      • Hourglass Blueline Vineyard Merlot 2011 Front Label
        Hourglass Blueline Vineyard Merlot 2011
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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          Currently Unavailable $79.97
          Try the 2019 Vintage 79 99
          79 97
          79 97
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        • Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2011 Front Label
          Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2011
          Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
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            Currently Unavailable $379.00
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            379
            379
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          • Matthiasson Red Hen Vineyard Merlot 2011 Front Label
            Matthiasson Red Hen Vineyard Merlot 2011
            Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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              Currently Unavailable $64.98
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              80
              64 98
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