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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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    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2008
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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    Barnard Griffin Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Pedroncelli Bench Vineyards Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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    Whitehall Lane Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2008
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE92
    4.3 5 Ratings
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    Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot 2008
    Merlot from California
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    Irony Napa Valley Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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    Tamarack Cellars Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Keenan Napa Valley Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Clos Du Val Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Guardian Peak Merlot 2008
    Merlot from South Africa
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    Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2008
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Leonetti Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE96
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    Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    4.2 9 Ratings
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    Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2008
    Merlot from North Coast, California
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    • RP90
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    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    3.8 6 Ratings
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    J. Bookwalter Foreshadow Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Pedestal Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Darioush Signature Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE94
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    Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    4.6 5 Ratings
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    Pepper Bridge Winery Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2008
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Castello di Ama L'Apparita 2008
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • WE97
    • JS95
    • WS93
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