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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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  • Forest Glen Barrel Select Merlot 1999
    Merlot from California
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  • Bodega Norton Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Argentina
    • WE85
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    Monticello Estate Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE93
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  • Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Stonehaven Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Australia
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  • Forest Glen Barrel Select Merlot (half-bottle) 1999
    Merlot from California
    • WE87
    • RP85
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    St. Francis Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • WE86
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  • Ferrari-Carano Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • WE87
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  • Merryvale Reserve Merlot (half-bottle) 1999
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Kendall-Jackson Great Estates Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
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    Brancott Marlborough Reserve Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • WE86
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    Salmon Harbor Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • WE85
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    Stonegate Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE91
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  • Echelon Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Central Coast, California
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  • Andretti Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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  • Conn Creek Limited Release Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE91
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  • Charles Krug Napa Valley Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE90
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  • Clos Pegase Mitsuko's Vineyard Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Carneros, California
    • WE94
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  • Arboleda Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Chile
    • WE87
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  • Jade Mountain Caldwell Vineyard Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    • WE89
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  • Omaka Springs Merlot 1999
    Merlot from New Zealand
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    Columbia Crest Reserve Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Columbia Winery Milestone Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Chalk Hill Merlot 1999
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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    Frescobaldi Lamaione 1999
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • WE92
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