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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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    Swanson Oakville Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • WE88
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    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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    Concannon Selected Vineyards Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Central Coast, California
    • WE86
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    Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot 2004
    Merlot from California
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    Snoqualmie Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Falesco Montiano 2004
    Merlot from Italy
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    Bonterra Organically Grown Merlot 2004
    Merlot from North Coast, California
    • WE87
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    Blankiet Paradise Hills Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE95
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    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Leonetti Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Duckhorn Estate Grown Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Keenan Reserve Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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    • WS91
    • CG91
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    Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Chile
    • WE90
    4.2 15 Ratings
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    Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Rust en Vrede Merlot 2004
    Merlot from South Africa
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    L'Ecole 41 Columbia Valley Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Petrolo Galatrona 2004
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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    • RP97
    • W&S90
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    Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2004
    Merlot from North Coast, California
    • WS94
    • WE90
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