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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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  • Ornellaia Masseto 2005 Front Label
    Ornellaia Masseto 2005
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • WS96
    • RP94
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  • Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2004 Front Label
    Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2004
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • WS98
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    Currently Unavailable $249.97
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    275
    249 97
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  • Ornellaia Masseto 2006  Front Label
    Ornellaia Masseto 2006
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP100
    • JS99
    • WS98
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    Currently Unavailable $1,249.97
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    1,249 97
    1,249 97
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  • Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 1998  Front Label
    Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 1998
    Merlot from North Coast, California
    • WS93
    • WE93
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    59 97
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  • Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot 2009 Front Label
    Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot 2009
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WS92
    • WE90
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    Currently Unavailable $139.97
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    139 97
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  • Arrowood Reserve Merlot 1997 Front Label
    Arrowood Reserve Merlot 1997
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
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    54 97
    54 97
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  • Pahlmeyer Merlot 1995  Front Label
    Pahlmeyer Merlot 1995
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    • WS90
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    Currently Unavailable $149.97
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    149 97
    149 97
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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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  • 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
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    Currently Unavailable $179.97
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    179 97
    179 97
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  • Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2006 Front Label
    Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2006
    Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
    • RP93
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    Currently Unavailable $79.97
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    79 97
    79 97
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  • Ornellaia Masseto 2010 Front Label
    Ornellaia Masseto 2010
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP98
    • JS98
    • WE97
    • WS95
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    Currently Unavailable $799.97
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    799 97
    799 97
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  • Leonetti Merlot 2010 Front Label
    Leonetti Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE95
    • WS93
    • RP93
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    Currently Unavailable $115.00
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    115
    115
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  • Ornellaia Masseto 2009 Front Label
    Ornellaia Masseto 2009
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • RP94
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $589.00
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    589
    589
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  • Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2001  Front Label
    Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2001
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS90
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.97
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    89 97
    89 97
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  • Pedestal Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006 Front Label
    Pedestal Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • CG96
    • RP94
    • WS93
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    Currently Unavailable $139.97
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    139 97
    139 97
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  • Brandolini Vistorta 2009 Front Label
    Brandolini Vistorta 2009
    Merlot from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
    • WS90
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    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    27
    23 99
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  • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2007 Front Label
    Pahlmeyer Merlot 2007
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP96
    • WS94
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    109 97
    109 97
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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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    Currently Unavailable $109.97
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    109 97
    109 97
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  • Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Merlot 2002 Front Label
    Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Merlot 2002
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE92
    • WS91
    4.0 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $41.97
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    41 97
    41 97
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  • Ornellaia Masseto 1996 Front Label
    Ornellaia Masseto 1996
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • WE93
    • WS92
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    Currently Unavailable $797.97
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    797 97
    797 97
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  • Beringer Howell Mtn. Bancroft Ranch Merlot (loose capsules) 1997 Front Label
    Beringer Howell Mtn. Bancroft Ranch Merlot (loose capsules) 1997
    Merlot from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
    • RP92
    • WE91
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    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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    75
    64 99
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  • Markham Reserve Merlot 1994  Front Label
    Markham Reserve Merlot 1994
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS91
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    51 99
    51 99
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  • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2010 Front Label
    Pahlmeyer Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    • WS91
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    Currently Unavailable $109.00
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    109
    109
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  • Arietta Merlot 1999 Front Label
    Arietta Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    • WS92
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    125
    74 99
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  • Le Macchiole Messorio 2007 Front Label
    Le Macchiole Messorio 2007
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • WE99
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $149.00
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    319
    149
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