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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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  • Red Newt Cellars Glacier Ridge Vineyards Merlot 2012  Front Label
    Red Newt Cellars Glacier Ridge Vineyards Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
    • JS93
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    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Waterbrook Collector's Series Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Waterbrook Collector's Series Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      19 99
      19 99
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    • Donati Family Vineyards Merlot 2012 Front Label
      Donati Family Vineyards Merlot 2012
      Merlot from Paicines, Central Coast, California
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        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        19 99
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      • Stephen Vincent Merlot 2012 Front Label
        Stephen Vincent Merlot 2012
        Merlot from Central Coast, California
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          Currently Unavailable $15.99
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          15 99
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        • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2012 Front Label
          Pahlmeyer Merlot 2012
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • JS97
          • WS93
          • RP91
          4.3 6 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $89.00
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          89
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        • Tortoise Creek Merlot 2012 Front Bottle Shot
          Tortoise Creek Merlot 2012
          Merlot from Clarksburg, Yolo County, California
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            Currently Unavailable $14.99
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            14 99
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          • Tinga Reserve Merlot 2012 Front Label
            Tinga Reserve Merlot 2012
            Merlot from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
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              Currently Unavailable $13.99
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              13 99
              13 99
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            • Grieve Family Winery Merlot 2012 Front Label
              Grieve Family Winery Merlot 2012
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              • WE93
              0.0 0 Ratings
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              Currently Unavailable $89.99
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              89 99
              89 99
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            • Hedges Family Estate HIP Merlot 2012 Front Label
              Hedges Family Estate HIP Merlot 2012
              Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                17 99
                17 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
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                Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                15 99
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              • Lockwood Merlot 2012 Front Label
                Lockwood Merlot 2012
                Merlot from Monterey, Central Coast, California
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                • Benziger Merlot 2012 Front Label
                  Benziger Merlot 2012
                  Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                    Currently Unavailable $15.98
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                    15 98
                    15 98
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                  • Pedroncelli Bench Vineyards Merlot 2012 Front Label
                    Pedroncelli Bench Vineyards Merlot 2012
                    Merlot from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                    • WE89
                    0.0 0 Ratings
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                    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                    19 99
                    17 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
                    Regular price
                    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                    49 99
                    49 99
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                  • Leonetti Merlot 2012 Front Label
                    Leonetti Merlot 2012
                    Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
                    • D95
                    • WE94
                    • RP94
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Regular price
                    Currently Unavailable $99.00
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                    99
                    99
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                  • Falesco Merlot Umbria 2012 Front Label
                    Falesco Merlot Umbria 2012
                    Merlot from Umbria, Italy
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                      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                      13 99
                      13 99
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                    • Leese-Fitch Merlot 2012 Front Label
                      Leese-Fitch Merlot 2012
                      Merlot from California
                      • TP91
                      3.4 6 Ratings
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                      Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                      15 99
                      15 99
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                    • Cousino Macul Merlot 2012 Front Label
                      Cousino Macul Merlot 2012
                      Merlot from Maipo Valley, Chile
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                        Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                        10 99
                        10 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
                        Regular price
                        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                        29 99
                        29 99
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                      • Clos Du Val Merlot 2012 Front Label
                        Clos Du Val Merlot 2012
                        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                        • JS91
                        • WE90
                        4.3 13 Ratings
                        Regular price
                        Currently Unavailable $25.99
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                        35
                        25 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
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                          Currently Unavailable $26.99
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                          26 99
                          26 99
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                        • The Prisoner Wine Company Thorn Merlot 2012 Front Label
                          The Prisoner Wine Company Thorn Merlot 2012
                          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                          • WW91
                          4.2 11 Ratings
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                          Currently Unavailable $42.99
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                          42 99
                          42 99
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                        • Emmolo Merlot 2012 Front Label
                          Emmolo Merlot 2012
                          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                          • WW95
                          • RP92
                          • TP92
                          • JS91
                          4.4 17 Ratings
                          Regular price
                          Currently Unavailable $59.99
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                          59 99
                          59 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
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                            Currently Unavailable $51.99
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                            75
                            51 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
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                            Currently Unavailable $189.99
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                            225
                            189 99
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