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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 2005 Front Label
    Ornellaia Masseto 2005
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • WS96
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $799.97
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    799 97
    799 97
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  • Whitehall Lane Merlot (half-bottle) 2005 Front Label
    Whitehall Lane Merlot (half-bottle) 2005
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    25
    14 99
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  • Chalk Hill Merlot 2005 Front Label
    Chalk Hill Merlot 2005
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $44.99
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      51
      44 99
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    • Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Merlot 2005 Front Label
      Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Merlot 2005
      Merlot from Sonoma County, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $32.99
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        32 99
        32 99
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      • Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Vineyard Merlot 2005 Front Label
        Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Vineyard Merlot 2005
        Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • WS90
        3.4 5 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $18.49
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        18 49
        18 49
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      • Raphael Merlot 2005 Front Label
        Raphael Merlot 2005
        Merlot from New York, Other U.S.
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $15.29
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          15 28
          15 28
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        • Beringer Third Century Merlot 2005 Front Label
          Beringer Third Century Merlot 2005
          Merlot from North Coast, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $9.99
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            16 79
            9 99
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          • Novelty Hill Merlot 2005 Front Label
            Novelty Hill Merlot 2005
            Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $17.39
              Try the 2017 Vintage 21 99
              21 99
              17 39
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            • Meerlust Merlot 2005 Front Label
              Meerlust Merlot 2005
              Merlot from South Africa
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                25 99
                19 99
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              • Tin Roof Merlot 2005 Front Label
                Tin Roof Merlot 2005
                Merlot from California
                • WE90
                3.4 163 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $8.99
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                13
                8 99
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              • Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Merlot 2005 Front Label
                Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Merlot 2005
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                  19 99
                  19 99
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                • Turnbull Merlot 2005 Front Label
                  Turnbull Merlot 2005
                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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                    36 99
                    36 99
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                  • Vendange NV Merlot 2005 Front Label
                    Vendange NV Merlot 2005
                    Merlot from California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $7.99
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                      7 99
                      7 99
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                    • Hall Napa Valley Merlot 2005 Front Label
                      Hall Napa Valley Merlot 2005
                      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $34.99
                        Try the 2017 Vintage 41 99
                        34 99
                        34 99
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                      • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Merlot 2005 Front Label
                        Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Merlot 2005
                        Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $19.49
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                          19 49
                          19 49
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                        • Hogue Genesis Merlot 2005 Front Label
                          Hogue Genesis Merlot 2005
                          Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
                          • WS88
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                          14 99
                          14 99
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                        • Lapostolle Merlot 2005 Front Label
                          Lapostolle Merlot 2005
                          Merlot from Chile
                          • WE86
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $12.29
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                          12 28
                          12 28
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                        • Clos Du Val Merlot 2005 Front Label
                          Clos Du Val Merlot 2005
                          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $28.99
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                            28 99
                            28 99
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                          • Rombauer Merlot 2005 Front Label
                            Rombauer Merlot 2005
                            Merlot from Carneros, California
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $31.99
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                              31 99
                              31 99
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                            • Rutherford Hill Merlot 2005 Front Label
                              Rutherford Hill Merlot 2005
                              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $22.99
                                Try the 2016 Vintage 27 99
                                22 99
                                22 99
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                              • Clarendon Hills Brookman Merlot 2005 Front Label
                                Clarendon Hills Brookman Merlot 2005
                                Merlot from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
                                • WS94
                                • RP93
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $44.99
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                                65
                                44 99
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                              • Franciscan Estate Merlot 2005 Front Label
                                Franciscan Estate Merlot 2005
                                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                  4.2 12 Ratings
                                  Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                                  27 99
                                  24 99
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                                • David Arthur Estate Merlot 2005 Front Label
                                  David Arthur Estate Merlot 2005
                                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                    0.0 0 Ratings
                                    Currently Unavailable $74.97
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                                    74 97
                                    74 97
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                                  • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2005 Front Label
                                    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2005
                                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                    • WE90
                                    3.2 5 Ratings
                                    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                                    49 99
                                    49 99
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                                  • Duckhorn Estate Grown Merlot 2005 Front Label
                                    Duckhorn Estate Grown Merlot 2005
                                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                    • WE94
                                    • WS91
                                    0.0 0 Ratings
                                    Currently Unavailable $85.00
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                                    85
                                    85
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