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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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  • Ornellaia Masseto 1996 Front Label
    Ornellaia Masseto 1996
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • WE93
    • WS92
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  • Arrowood Merlot 1996 Front Label
    Arrowood Merlot 1996
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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      Currently Unavailable $106.99
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      106 99
      106 99
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    • Trefethen Estate Merlot 1996 Front Label
      Trefethen Estate Merlot 1996
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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        Currently Unavailable $26.99
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        26 99
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      • Ravenswood Sangiacomo Merlot 1996 Front Label
        Ravenswood Sangiacomo Merlot 1996
        Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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          Currently Unavailable $39.99
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          39 99
          39 99
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        • Ravenswood Donnell Ranch Merlot 1996 Front Label
          Ravenswood Donnell Ranch Merlot 1996
          Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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            Currently Unavailable $37.99
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          • Mirassou Family Selection Merlot 1996 Front Label
            Mirassou Family Selection Merlot 1996
            Merlot from Central Coast, California
            • WE85
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            Currently Unavailable $15.99
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            15 99
            15 99
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          • Pahlmeyer Merlot 1996 Front Label
            Pahlmeyer Merlot 1996
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
            • RP97
            • WS92
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            125
            125
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          • Bodega Norton Merlot 1996 Front Label
            Bodega Norton Merlot 1996
            Merlot from Argentina
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              Currently Unavailable $10.99
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              12 49
              10 99
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            • Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 1996 Front Label
              Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 1996
              Merlot from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
              • WE92
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              Currently Unavailable $99.97
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              99 97
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            • Kendall-Jackson Buckeye Vineyard Merlot 1996 Front Label
              Kendall-Jackson Buckeye Vineyard Merlot 1996
              Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                Currently Unavailable $34.49
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                34 49
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              • Zonnebloem Merlot 1996 Front Label
                Zonnebloem Merlot 1996
                Merlot from South Africa
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                  Currently Unavailable $8.99
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                  8 99
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                • Louis Martini Merlot (half-bottle) 1996
                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                    Currently Unavailable $7.99
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                  • Louis Martini Reserve Merlot 1996
                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                      Currently Unavailable $19.97
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                      19 97
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                    • Belvedere Dry Creek Merlot 1996 Front Label
                      Belvedere Dry Creek Merlot 1996
                      Merlot from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                        12 99
                        12 99
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                      • Ballentine Merlot 1996 Front Label
                        Ballentine Merlot 1996
                        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                          Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                          21 49
                          19 99
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                        • Merryvale Reserve Merlot (half-bottle) 1996
                          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                            Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                            21 99
                            21 99
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                          • Forest Glen Barrel Select Merlot (half-bottle) 1996
                            Merlot from California
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                              Currently Unavailable $8.99
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                              8 99
                              8 99
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                            • Christian Moueix Merlot 1996 Front Label
                              Christian Moueix Merlot 1996
                              Merlot from Bordeaux, France
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                                Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                                11 99
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                              • Yonder Hill Merlot 1996 Front Label
                                Yonder Hill Merlot 1996
                                Merlot from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                  11 99
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                                • Lagaria Merlot (1.5L) 1996
                                  Merlot from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
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                                    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                                    14 99
                                    14 99
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                                  • CK Mondavi Merlot 1996
                                    Merlot from California
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                                      Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                                      10 99
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                                    • Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Merlot 1996 Front Label
                                      Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Merlot 1996
                                      Merlot from Chile
                                      • WS85
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                                      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                                      14 99
                                      14 99
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                                    • Little Cobb Road Merlot 1996
                                      Merlot from New York, Other U.S.
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                                        Currently Unavailable $12.49
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                                        12 49
                                        12 49
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                                      • Latah Creek Merlot 1996
                                        Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                                          Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                                          15 99
                                          15 99
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                                        • Callaway Merlot 1996 Front Label
                                          Callaway Merlot 1996
                                          Merlot from California
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                                            Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                                            13 99
                                            13 99
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