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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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    William Hill Napa Valley Merlot 2003
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE88
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    Bonterra Organically Grown Merlot 2003
    Merlot from North Coast, California
    • WE90
    3.2 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    Stags' Leap Winery Merlot 2003
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE89
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    Christian Moueix Merlot 2003
    Merlot from Bordeaux, France
    • WE86
    2.9 22 Ratings
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    Clos Du Val Merlot 2003
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Sagelands Merlot Four Corners 2003
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE91
    3.7 9 Ratings
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    Novelty Hill Merlot 2003
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE91
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    Waterbrook Merlot 2003
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • WE88
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    Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot 2003
    Merlot from California
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    Silverado Merlot 2003
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE91
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    Falesco Montiano 2003
    Merlot from Italy
    • WE93
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    St. Francis Merlot 2003
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • WE87
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  • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2003
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE92
    • W&S90
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    Snoqualmie Merlot 2003
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • WE86
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    Concha y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Merlot 2003
    Merlot from Chile
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    • WE88
    • WS86
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    Le Macchiole Messorio 2003
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • WE94
    • WS93
    • RP93
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    Meerlust Merlot 2003
    Merlot from South Africa
    • WE89
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    Petrolo Galatrona 2003
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • WS96
    • RP91
    • WE90
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