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Merlot

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture ...

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. But the grape also has enough stuffing to make serious, world-renowned wines. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, in St. Emilion and Pomerol, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

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 permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

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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    Ravenswood Vintners Blend Merlot 2006
    Merlot from California
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      Currently Unavailable $7.99
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      Marco Felluga Collio Merlot Varneri 2006
      Merlot from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
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        Vincent Bouquet Merlot Vin de Pays d'Oc 2006
        Merlot from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
          3.3 13 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $7.99
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          7 99
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          Duckhorn Estate Grown Merlot 2006
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • WE94
          • W&S90
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          Currently Unavailable $79.99
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          85
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          Vendange Merlot 2006
          Merlot from California
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            Canyon Road Merlot 2006
            Merlot from California
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              Mollydooker The Scooter Merlot 2006
              Merlot from Australia
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              Currently Unavailable $27.99
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              Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2006
              Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
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              79 97
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              Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2006
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                Lyeth L de Lyeth Merlot 2006
                Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                  Parducci Merlot 2006
                  Merlot from North Coast, California
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                    Wente Sandstone Merlot 2006
                    Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                      Swanson Oakville Merlot 2006
                      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                      L'Ecole 41 Columbia Valley Merlot 2006
                      Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                      Currently Unavailable $25.99
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                      Calina Reserva Merlot 2006
                      Merlot from Chile
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                      Chateau Le Moulin 2006
                      Merlot from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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                      Whitehall Lane Merlot 2006
                      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                      Oxford Landing Merlot 2006
                      Merlot from Australia
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                      Currently Unavailable $8.49
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                      Fog Mountain Merlot (PET bottle) 2006
                      Merlot from California
                        2.8 6 Ratings
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                        Pahlmeyer Merlot 2006
                        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                        BV Century Cellars Merlot 2006
                        Merlot from California
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                          7 99
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                          Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2006
                          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                            3.7 7 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $39.99
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                            39 99
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                            Swanson Oakville Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2006
                            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                            Meerlust Merlot 2006
                            Merlot from South Africa
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                            Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2006
                            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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