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Merlot

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture ...

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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.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

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 permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

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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    Delectus Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
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    Petrolo Galatrona 2010
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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    • WS94
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    Hourglass Blueline Vineyard Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS94
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    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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    Castiglion del Bosco Dainero 2010
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • WS90
    3.1 15 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.98
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    Efeste Upright Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • RP90
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    Ornellaia Masseto (3 Liter Bottle) 2010
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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    • WS95
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    Murphy-Goode California Merlot 2010
    Merlot from California
    • WS88
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    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    Concha y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Chile
    • WS87
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    Querciabella Palafreno 2010
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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    • W&S93
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    Bogle Merlot 2010
    Merlot from California
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    Currently Unavailable $8.95
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    Ornellaia Masseto (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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    • JS98
    • WE97
    • WS95
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    Guardian Peak Merlot 2010
    Merlot from South Africa
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    Frei Brothers Reserve Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    Columbia Crest H3 Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS86
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    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    Rust en Vrede Merlot 2010
    Merlot from South Africa
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    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Vineyard Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Castle Rock Columbia Valley Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Markham Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Wolffer Estate The Grapes of Roth Merlot 2010
    Merlot from New York, Other U.S.
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    Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • D90
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    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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    Peju Province Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2010
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    • WE91
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    K Vintners Stoneridge Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Washington
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    L'Ecole 41 Columbia Valley Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Whitehall Lane Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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