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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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  • 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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    • BV Century Cellars Merlot 2012 Front Label
      BV Century Cellars Merlot 2012
      Merlot from California
        4.0 7 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $11.99
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        11 99
        11 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
        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
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          Currently Unavailable $13.99
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          13 99
          13 99
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        • Barnard Griffin Merlot 2012 Front Label
          Barnard Griffin Merlot 2012
          Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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            Currently Unavailable $16.99
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            16 99
            16 99
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          • Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2012 Front Label
            Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2012
            Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
            • WE91
            • RP91
            4.1 24 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $38.99
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            41
            38 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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          • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2012 Front Label
            Pahlmeyer Merlot 2012
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
            • JS97
            • WS93
            • RP91
            4.2 5 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $89.97
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            89 97
            89 97
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          • Lockwood Merlot 2012 Front Label
            Lockwood Merlot 2012
            Merlot from Monterey, Central Coast, California
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              Currently Unavailable $11.99
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              14
              11 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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            • 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
              Currently Unavailable $14.99
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              16
              14 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
              Currently Unavailable $89.97
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              89 97
              89 97
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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
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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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                • 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
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                    75
                    51 99
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                  • Emmolo Merlot 2012 Front Label
                    Emmolo Merlot 2012
                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                    • WW95
                    • RP92
                    • TP92
                    • JS91
                    4.4 17 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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                    59 99
                    59 99
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                  • Waterstone Merlot 2012 Front Label
                    Waterstone Merlot 2012
                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                    • JS90
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                    17 99
                    17 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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                    • 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
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                    • 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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                    • Brass Tacks Merlot 2012 Front Label
                      Brass Tacks Merlot 2012
                      Merlot from Central Coast, California
                      • WE89
                      • WW89
                      3.8 13 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                      19 99
                      19 99
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                    • Alexander Valley Vineyards Merlot 2012 Front Label
                      Alexander Valley Vineyards Merlot 2012
                      Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                      • W&S92
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                      19 99
                      19 99
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