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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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  • Le Macchiole Messorio 2012 Front Label
    Le Macchiole Messorio 2012
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP97
    • JS96
    • WS95
    • W&S94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $169.99
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    225
    169 99
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  • Emmolo Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Emmolo Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WW95
    • RP92
    • TP92
    • JS91
    4.4 14 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    59 99
    59 99
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  • Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WS92
    4.5 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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    54 99
    54 99
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  • Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2012 Front Label
    Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2012
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS98
    • D97
    • RP95
    • WE94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $219.99
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    400
    219 99
    Save $180.01 (45%)
  • Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE91
    • RP91
    4.0 21 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
    Try the 2015 Vintage 38 99
    41
    37 99
    Save $3.01 (7%)
  • Swanson Napa Valley Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Swanson Napa Valley Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    • WS90
    3.9 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    38
    29 99
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  • La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot 2012 Front Label
    La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $99.99
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    99 99
    99 99
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  • Mollydooker The Scooter Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Mollydooker The Scooter Merlot 2012
    Merlot from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • RP89
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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    31 99
    31 99
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  • Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    69 99
    69 99
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  • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Pahlmeyer Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
    • WS93
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.97
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    89 97
    89 97
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  • Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WS92
    • JS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.97
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    69 97
    69 97
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  • Seven Hills Winery Seven Hills Vineyard Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Seven Hills Winery Seven Hills Vineyard Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE91
    • RP90
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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    36 99
    36 99
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  • Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2012 Front Label
    Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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    38 99
    38 99
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  • Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot (375ML Half-bottle) 2012  Front Label
    Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot (375ML Half-bottle) 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WS92
    • JS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $33.97
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    33 97
    33 97
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  • Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    • JS90
    4.0 14 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    34
    26 99
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  • PlumpJack Merlot 2012 Front Label
    PlumpJack Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $55.99
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    55 99
    55 99
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  • Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2012
    Merlot from North Coast, California
    • WE91
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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    57 99
    57 99
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  • Keenan Mailbox Vineyard Spring Mountain Reserve Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Keenan Mailbox Vineyard Spring Mountain Reserve Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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    79 99
    79 99
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  • Lynsolence  2012 Front Label
    Lynsolence 2012
    Merlot from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • RP94
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • Leonetti Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Leonetti Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE94
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.97
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    89 97
    89 97
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  • Woodward Canyon Columbia Valley Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Woodward Canyon Columbia Valley Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE92
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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    52
    43 99
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  • Petrolo Galatrona 2012 Front Label
    Petrolo Galatrona 2012
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS96
    • RP94
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.97
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    89 97
    89 97
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  • Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012 Front Label
    Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $119.00
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    119
    119
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  • Cakebread Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Cakebread Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    4.5 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.97
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    69 97
    69 97
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  • La Jota W.S. Keyes Merlot 2012 Front Label
    La Jota W.S. Keyes Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP96
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $134.99
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    150
    134 99
    Save $15.01 (10%)
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