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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 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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  • Waterbrook Collector's Series Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Waterbrook Collector's Series Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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      14 99
      14 99
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    • Clos Du Val Merlot 2012 Front Label
      Clos Du Val Merlot 2012
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • JS91
      • WE90
      4.2 12 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $28.99
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      35
      28 99
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    • Cakebread Merlot 2012 Front Label
      Cakebread Merlot 2012
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • RP92
      4.6 6 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $69.97
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      69 97
      69 97
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    • Tinga Reserve Merlot 2012 Front Label
      Tinga Reserve Merlot 2012
      Merlot from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $13.99
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        13 99
        13 99
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      • Charles Smith Wines Velvet Devil Merlot 2012 Front Label
        Charles Smith Wines Velvet Devil Merlot 2012
        Merlot from Washington
        • WS90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $13.99
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        13 99
        13 99
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      • Indaba Merlot 2012 Front Label
        Indaba Merlot 2012
        Merlot from South Africa
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $9.99
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          11 99
          9 99
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        • Wine Spots Napa Valley Merlot 2012 Front Label
          Wine Spots Napa Valley Merlot 2012
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • WW90
          4.0 16 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $49.99
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          49 99
          49 99
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        • Falesco Merlot Umbria 2012 Front Label
          Falesco Merlot Umbria 2012
          Merlot from Umbria, Italy
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $13.99
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            15
            13 99
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          • Cousino Macul Merlot 2012 Front Label
            Cousino Macul Merlot 2012
            Merlot from Maipo Valley, Chile
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $9.99
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              11
              9 99
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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 $21.99
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              24
              21 99
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            • Torres Atrium 2012 Front Label
              Torres Atrium 2012
              Merlot from Spain
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                17 99
                17 99
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              • Parducci Small Lot Blend Merlot 2012 Front Label
                Parducci Small Lot Blend Merlot 2012
                Merlot from Mendocino, California
                  2.6 9 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                  13 99
                  13 99
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                • Clos du Bois Alexander Valley Reserve Merlot 2012 Front Label
                  Clos du Bois Alexander Valley Reserve Merlot 2012
                  Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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                    26 99
                    26 99
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                  • Hickinbotham The Revivalist Merlot 2012 Front Label
                    Hickinbotham The Revivalist Merlot 2012
                    Merlot from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $51.99
                      Try the 2016 Vintage 74 99
                      75
                      51 99
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                    • Emmolo Merlot 2012 Front Label
                      Emmolo Merlot 2012
                      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                      • WW95
                      • RP92
                      • TP92
                      • JS91
                      4.3 16 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $59.99
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                      59 99
                      59 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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                    • Annabella Merlot 2012 Front Label
                      Annabella Merlot 2012
                      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                        19
                        15 99
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                      • Geyser Peak Merlot 2012 Front Label
                        Geyser Peak Merlot 2012
                        Merlot from California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $13.98
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                          18
                          13 98
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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 $48.99
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                          54
                          48 99
                          Save $5.01 (9%)
                        • Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2012 Front Label
                          Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2012
                          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                          • RP95
                          • WS92
                          4.5 11 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $54.99
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                          54 99
                          54 99
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                        • Frei Brothers Reserve Merlot 2012 Front Label
                          Frei Brothers Reserve Merlot 2012
                          Merlot from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                            20
                            16 99
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                          • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2012 Front Label
                            Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2012
                            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                            • WE92
                            • WW90
                            4.3 24 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $64.99
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                            64 99
                            64 99
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                          • Taft Street Alexander Valley Merlot 2012 Front Label
                            Taft Street Alexander Valley Merlot 2012
                            Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                              20
                              15 99
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                            • Hedges Family Estate HIP Merlot 2012 Front Label
                              Hedges Family Estate HIP Merlot 2012
                              Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                                14 99
                                14 99
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                              • Miner Family Stagecoach Vineyard Merlot 2012 Front Label
                                Miner Family Stagecoach Vineyard Merlot 2012
                                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                  0.0 0 Ratings
                                  Currently Unavailable $41.99
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                                  46
                                  41 99
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