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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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  • Chateau La Bastienne Montagne-St.-Emilion 2016 Front Label
    Chateau La Bastienne Montagne-St.-Emilion 2016
    Merlot from Bordeaux, France
    • JS93
    • WW92
    • RP90
    3.9 324 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    19 99
    17 99
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  • Maddalena Merlot 2016  Front Label
    Maddalena Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      4.5 13 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $18.99
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      18 99
      18 99
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    • Paradigm Merlot 2016  Front Label
      Paradigm Merlot 2016
      Merlot from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $67.99
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        67 99
        67 99
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      • Long Meadow Ranch Merlot 2016  Front Label
        Long Meadow Ranch Merlot 2016
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • WE93
        • WW90
        • D90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $37.99
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        37 99
        37 99
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      • Leese-Fitch Merlot 2016  Front Label
        Leese-Fitch Merlot 2016
        Merlot from California
          4.0 17 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $10.99
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          12
          10 99
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        • Mt. Brave Merlot 2016  Front Label
          Mt. Brave Merlot 2016
          Merlot from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
          • WS94
          • WE94
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $94.99
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          94 99
          94 99
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        • St. Supery Rutherford Merlot 2016  Front Label
          St. Supery Rutherford Merlot 2016
          Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $49.99
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            49 99
            49 99
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          • Mayacamas Merlot 2016  Front Label
            Mayacamas Merlot 2016
            Merlot from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
            • WE94
            • JS94
            • WS90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $64.99
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            64 99
            64 99
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          • Merryvale Merlot 2016  Front Label
            Merryvale Merlot 2016
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              4.9 6 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $48.99
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              48 99
              48 99
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            • Nickel & Nickel Harris Vineyard Merlot 2016  Front Label
              Nickel & Nickel Harris Vineyard Merlot 2016
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              • WS92
              4.0 7 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $64.99
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              64 99
              64 99
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