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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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19 Items
  • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Pahlmeyer Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
    • WS93
    • RP91
    4.3 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.00
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    89
    89
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  • Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS93
    • WE92
    3.8 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    29 99
    29 99
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  • Emmolo Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Emmolo Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WW95
    • RP92
    • TP92
    • JS91
    4.4 17 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    59 99
    59 99
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  • Waterstone Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Waterstone Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • JS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    17 99
    17 99
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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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  • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WW91
    • WE91
    • TP91
    • JS90
    • WS90
    4.2 26 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $55.99
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    55 99
    55 99
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  • Ornellaia Masseto 2012 Front Label
    Ornellaia Masseto 2012
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS99
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $619.00
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    700
    619
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  • Clos Du Val Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Clos Du Val Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • JS91
    • WE90
    4.3 13 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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    35
    25 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
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  • Avignonesi Desiderio Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Avignonesi Desiderio Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS93
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $56.99
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    60
    56 99
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  • Castiglion del Bosco Dainero 2012 Front Label
    Castiglion del Bosco Dainero 2012
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS92
    • WS90
    3.2 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    21 99
    21 99
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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 $35.99
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    35 99
    35 99
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  • Milbrandt The Estates Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Milbrandt The Estates Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    25 99
    24 99
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  • Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
    • CG96
    • WW93
    • WE93
    • JS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $95.00
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    95
    95
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  • Trefethen Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Trefethen Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
    • JS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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    40
    33 99
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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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  • Petra Quercegobbe 2012  Front Label
    Petra Quercegobbe 2012
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $67.99
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    67 99
    67 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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  • Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2012 Front Label
    Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP98
    • JS98
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $449.00
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    449
    449
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