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Merlot

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

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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.

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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    Petrolo Galatrona 2010
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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    • WS94
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    100
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    Watermill Walla Walla Valley Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Oregon
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      Rubissow Merlot 2010
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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        40
        33 98
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        Hourglass Blueline Vineyard Merlot 2010
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • WS94
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        Currently Unavailable $74.99
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        Castiglion del Bosco Dainero 2010
        Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
        • WS90
        3.1 15 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $15.98
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        25
        15 98
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        Santa Alicia Reserva Merlot 2010
        Merlot from Chile
        • WE88
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        12
        9 99
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        Waterbrook Collector's Series Merlot 2010
        Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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          17 99
          17 99
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          BV Century Cellars Merlot 2010
          Merlot from California
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            Clarendon Hills Brookman Merlot 2010
            Merlot from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
            • RP90
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            Frog's Leap Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010
            Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
            • W&S93
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            Lava Cap Reserve Merlot 2010
            Merlot from El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
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              Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Merlot 2010
              Merlot from Chile
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                Tin Roof Merlot 2010
                Merlot from California
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                  Chateau Marsau (375ML half-bottle) 2010
                  Merlot from Cotes de Francs, Bordeaux, France
                  • JS92
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                  13 99
                  13 99
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                  Efeste Upright Merlot 2010
                  Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                  • WS90
                  • RP90
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                  Ornellaia Masseto (3 Liter Bottle) 2010
                  Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
                  • RP98
                  • JS98
                  • WE97
                  • WS95
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                  Tilia Merlot 2010
                  Merlot from Argentina
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                    Wilson Daniels Merlot 2010
                    Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                      Buena Vista Sonoma Merlot 2010
                      Merlot from Carneros, California
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                        13 99
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                        Murphy-Goode California Merlot 2010
                        Merlot from California
                        • WS88
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                        Mayacamas Merlot 2010
                        Merlot from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
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                          Red Diamond Merlot 2010
                          Merlot from Washington
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                            Pepperwood Grove Merlot 2010
                            Merlot from Chile
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                              Wente Sandstone Merlot 2010
                              Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                                Concha y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Merlot 2010
                                Merlot from Chile
                                • WS87
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