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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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    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    • CG90
    4.6 20 Ratings
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    Benziger Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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      Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2016
      Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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      • V97
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      The Prisoner Wine Company Thorn Merlot 2016
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • WW94
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      Stags' Leap Winery Merlot 2016
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • JS93
      4.0 10 Ratings
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      Marilyn Napa Valley Merlot 2016
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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        Markham Merlot 2016
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        • RP92
        4.5 21 Ratings
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        Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Vineyard Merlot 2016
        Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • WS89
        4.4 14 Ratings
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        Cycles Gladiator Merlot 2016
        Merlot from Central Coast, California
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          Sebastiani Sonoma County Merlot 2016
          Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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            Flora Springs Napa Valley Merlot 2016
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
            • TP92
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            Trentadue La Storia Merlot 2016
            Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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              St. Francis Reserve Merlot 2016
              Merlot from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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              • TP93
              • WE90
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              Frog's Leap Merlot 2016
              Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
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              • WW91
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              Charles Smith Velvet Devil Merlot 2016
              Merlot from Washington
                4.0 21 Ratings
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                AVA Grace Merlot 2016
                Merlot from California
                  3.6 5 Ratings
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                  Sterling Vintner's Collection Merlot 2016
                  Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                    Goldschmidt Vineyard Chelsea Merlot 2016
                    Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                      Rombauer Merlot 2016
                      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                      • WW90
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                      Rutherford Ranch Merlot 2016
                      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                        Clos Pegase Mitsuko's Vineyard Merlot 2016
                        Merlot from Carneros, California
                          3.2 5 Ratings
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                          Bogle Merlot 2016
                          Merlot from California
                            3.7 34 Ratings
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                            Little Black Dress Merlot 2016
                            Merlot from California
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                              Frei Brothers Reserve Merlot 2016
                              Merlot from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                                3.8 7 Ratings
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                                14 Hands Merlot 2016
                                Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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