Best Merlot Wines For Under $100

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Poggio ai Merli di Castellare

2007 / 750 ml.

Item #: 77735

RP9595 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 30th Aug 2011
The Poggio Ai Merli is Castellare’s single-vineyard Merlot. For whatever reason, it is not a wine I taste all that often, but I should, as the 2007 is a stunner. Dark cherries, scorched earth, smoke, licorice and leather are some of the aromas and flavors that burst from the glass in this huge, explosive wine. This is far from an easygoing, open 2007. Rather it is a wine that reconciles the opulence of the year with tons of underlying structure to the extent rarely seen in this vintage. The French oak (33% new) adds volume and depth, but without marking the wine at all. The 2007 Poggio ai Merli will be a jewel of a wine once the tannins start melting away. Anticipated maturity: 2017–2027.
VN9595 pts. - Vinous - Aug 2011
The Poggio Ai Merli is Castellare’s single-vineyard Merlot. For whatever reason, it is not a wine I taste all that often, but I should, as the 2007 is a stunner. Dark cherries, scorched earth, smoke, licorice and leather are some of the aromas and flavors that burst from the glass in this huge, explosive wine. This is far from an easygoing, open 2007. Rather it is a wine that reconciles the opulence of the year with tons of underlying structure to the extent rarely seen in this vintage. The French oak (33% new) adds volume and depth, but without marking the wine at all. The 2007 Poggio ai Merli will be a jewel of a wine once the tannins start melting away.
ST9292 pts. - Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar - Sep/Oct 2012
Saturated ruby. Wild aromas of blackberry, black cherry, pepper, truffle and minerals. Wonderfully dense and concentrated, with compelling black fruit and spice flavors that show a refined quality at the back. Finishes supple, with outstanding length and brightness. A very strong vintage for this merlot, from a hot year that might have led one to expect grittier tannins. Very well done.
WE9191 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 3/1/2010
Here’s a lively Tuscan Merlot with soft layers of spice and cola lavished over a solid core of black fruit. The aromas are pristine and focused and the wine makes an equally excellent impression in the mouth thanks to its soft, yielding tannins and sweet cherry flavors.
SP9090 pts. - Wine Spectator - Web only – 2009
Violets and berries, with hints of green leaves and blackberry on the nose. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a medium finish. Not giving much right now. Needs time to open. Best after 2011. 450 cases made.

Italy | Tuscany | Toscana

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Château Feytit-Clinet Pomerol

2018 / 750 ml.

Item #: 95469

JD96+96+ pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 3/11/2021
This was a great vintage for Pomerol, and Jeremy Chasseuil has again made a brilliant wine. Based on 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc brought up in 70% new French oak, the 2018 Château Feytit-Clinet is a powerful Pomerol boasting a dense purple/plum color as well as decadent notes of blackcurrants, lavender, loamy soil, truffle, chocolate, graphite, and roasted herbs. It doesn’t pull any punches and is full-bodied and concentrated on the palate, with an expansive, mouth-filling texture, building tannins, and a great finish. It’s going to take a decade to hit maturity, but it will be a 30-year wine. I followed this bottle for multiple days and it only improved. It’s a stunning wine. (Jeb Dunnuck)
JS9595 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Blackcurrants, blackberries and some spices with dark-chocolate and chili undertones. Full-bodied, flavorful and sharp with a firm tannin structure. Succulent finish with good length. Salty and white-pepper undertones. Serious young Pomerol. Try after 2024.
VN9595 pts. - Vinous - Mar 2021
The 2018 Feytit-Clinet is exquisite. Inky dark fruit, gravel, spice, menthol, licorice, mint and lavender are some of the many aromas and flavors that develop as the 2018 shows off its compelling, totally unique personality. In most recent vintages, Feytit-Clinet has been explosive and quite powerful. The 2018 doesn’t quite have that energy, but its (relatively) suave personality will make it easy to enjoy with only a few years in bottle. I loved it.
RP93+93+ pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 31st Mar 2021
The 2018 Feytit Clinet is composed of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. It was aged in 70% new and 30% second year barrels, for around 16 months. The wine has 14.9% alcohol. Deep purple-black colored, it slides effortlessly out of the glass with compelling scents of baked black cherries, mulberries and plum preserves, followed by suggestions of tilled soil, pencil shavings and black truffles, plus a waft of tar. The big, rich, full-bodied palate issues mouth-coating black fruits and a wonderfully velvety texture, offering just enough freshness to support the long, decadent finish.

France | Bordeaux | Pomerol

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Château Gazin Pomerol

2018 / 750 ml.

Item #: 95480

JD9797 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 3/11/2021
The deep purple, inky-hued 2018 Château Gazin comes from the Pomerol plateau and is 93% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc. A brilliant nose of blueberries, candied cherries, wildflowers, tobacco, chocolate, and spice gives way to a stunning Pomerol with full-bodied richness, a layered, seamless texture, ultra-fine tannins, and a great finish. This plush, sexy, opulent Pomerol does everything right. It already offers pleasure yet will ideally be given 4–6 years of bottle age and will have two decades or so over overall longevity. (Jeb Dunnuck)
WE9595 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 5/1/2021
For its weight, this wine is also elegant. Rich, lush Merlot fruit flavors have a sense of restraint, self-contained and already delicious. The ripe berry flavors promise a wine that will have opulent fruit as well as structure. Drink from 2026.
JS9595 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Rich aromas of blueberries, ripe black cherries, chocolate and sandalwood. It’s full-bodied with firm, well integrated and rounded tannins. Solid depth of fruit here. Creamy and polished. Better after 2024.
VN9494 pts. - Vinous - Mar 2021
The 2018 Gazin has a lively, generous bouquet of vivacious wild strawberry, boysenberry and hints of tobacco. The aromatics are well delineated and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, offering seductive black fruit mixed with black pepper, truffle and clove. There is so much finesse toward the finish that it is approachable now, yet it certainly has the substance to suggest long-term aging. Not to be underestimated, this is another wonderful Gazin.
RP93+93+ pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 31st Mar 2021
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2018 Gazin (a blend of 93% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc) leaps from the glass with vibrant notes of warm plums, black raspberries and kirsch, plus suggestions of wild mushrooms, fragrant earth, Sichuan pepper and tree bark. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers impressive energy with approachable, rounded tannins and a lively backbone framing the crunchy red and black fruits, finishing long and earthy.

France | Bordeaux | Pomerol

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Clos L’Eglise Pomerol

2018 / 750 ml.

Item #: 99111

JS9696 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Wednesday, March 3, 2021
A round-textured and layered young Pomerol with berry, plum, chocolate and hazelnut aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied, plush and luscious on so many levels. Try after 2026, when it tightens up.
RP9595 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 31st Mar 2021
The 2018 Clos l’Eglise is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes bounding out of the glass with energetic scents of Morello cherries, fresh black plums, boysenberries and lavender, plus underlying nuances of crushed rocks, woodsmoke and black truffles. The full-bodied palate is packed with perfumed black fruit, supported by ripe, velvety tannins and tons of freshness, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note. (Lisa Perrotti-Brown)
JD9494 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 3/11/2021
A pretty, elegant wine from this terroir, the 2018 Château Clos L’Eglise reveals a ruby/purple color as well as smoking good notes of black cherries, blueberries, white truffle, damp earth, and a little bit of iron and bloodiness that emerge with time in the glass. With medium to full-bodied richness on the palate, it has ripe tannins, a balanced texture, and just a ripe yet elegant, fleshy profile. Give bottles 4–5 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following 10–15 years. (Jeb Dunnuck)
SP9292 pts. - Wine Spectator - Mar 31, 2021
Enticing, with macerated fig and plum notes forming the core while dark tea and savory notes course underneath. Hints of wet stone and charcoal echo at the very end. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2032. 1,665 cases made. (James Molesworth)

France | Bordeaux | Pomerol

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Carillon d’Angélus

2020 / 750 ml.

Item #: 99208

JS94+94–95 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Thursday, May 27, 2021
This is very fine and racy with refined tannins that are long and really precise. It’s medium-bodied with a lovely, creamy texture. Really long and bright.
JD91+91–93 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 5/23/2021
The 2020 Le Carillon D’Angélus bring things up a notch, offering wonderful purity of fruit as well as notes black cherries, cassis, graphite, and leafy herbs. Medium-bodied on the palate, it has wonderful tannins, nicely integrated acidity, and a clean, lengthy finish. It’s a beautiful wine. (Jeb Dunnuck)
RP90+90–92 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 20th May 2021
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Le Carillon d’Angélus (a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc) rocks up with ready-to-go scents of plum preserves, blackberry pie and mulberries, plus hints of spice cake, aniseed and unsmoked cigars. The medium-bodied palate has lovely freshness and an approachable, soft texture framing the crunchy black fruits, finishing long and savory. (Lisa Perrotti-Brown)

France | Bordeaux | Saint-Emilion

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Clos L’Eglise Pomerol

2020 / 750 ml.

Item #: 1166

JD9999 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 3/29/2023
A real “wow” wine, the 2020 Clos L’Eglise sports deep ruby hue as well as an absolutely stunning bouquet of black cherries, red plums, damp earth, chocolate, truffle, and lead pencil. This deep, full-bodied, concentrated, beauty has that classic Pomerol opulence and richness paired with an incredible sense of elegance. The tannins are perfectly ripe as well. Give bottles just 4–5 years, and it’s going to age beautifully. This is the finest wine I’ve tasted from the Garcin-Lévêque family, surpassing both the 2009 and 2016. Don’t miss it. (Jeb Dunnuck)
JS9696 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Sunday, May 14, 2023
This has a pretty nose of chocolate, praline, blueberries, lavender and bramble berries. It’s medium-bodied with firm, compact tannins. Firm and focused with an enticing bitter chocolate character throughout. Some smoked wood. Intense and tightly wound. Opens on the palate. Try in 2027. (James Suckling)
VN9696 pts. - Vinous - Feb 2023
The 2020 Clos L’Eglise is not as showy as it was from barrel, perhaps because of its recent bottling. Bright red-toned fruit, spice, mint, blood orange and rose petal are all laced together. En primeur, Clos L’Eglise was quite powerful, but I see more finesse today. Even so, this is one of the most concentrated Clos L’Eglises ever, since surpassed by the 2022, though! (Antonio Galloni)
RP9393 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 6th Apr 2023
Aromas of ripe plums and raspberries mingled with hints of rose petals and toasty new oak preface the 2020 Clos l’Eglise, a medium to full-bodied, velvety and enveloping wine with a broad attack that segues into a fleshy core of fruit, with powdery extract asserting itself on the youthfully chewy finish. (William Kelley)

France | Bordeaux | Pomerol

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Château Pavie Macquin

Premier Grand Cru Classé
2020 / 750 ml.

Item #: 1352

JS9898 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Sunday, May 14, 2023
I have never had a Pavie Macquin like this. It’s so fresh and vivid with black cherry, currant and raspberry character, as well as citrus. Some mineral and spice. Salt, too. The palate is full and linear with a verticality that takes you so deep and long. Endless. Transparent. Drink after 2028. (James Suckling)
JD96+96+ pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 3/29/2023
The dense purple-hued 2020 Château Pavie Macquin checks in as a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc from yields of 31 hectoliters per hectare and a selection of 85% of the production. Incredibly pure cassis and blueberry fruits as well as complex spring flowers, liquid violets, white truffle, and a liqueur of limestone-like minerality define the aromatics, and it’s medium to full-bodied on the palate, with ultra-fine tannins, the vintage’s pure, focused, structured profile, and a great finish. As in most vintages, this beauty is not for instant gratification and needs 7–8 years, if not a decade of cellaring to show its potential. It’s another true vin de garde from the team of Nicolas Thienpont (Stéphane Derenoncourt also consults) that readers will love to have in their cellar. (Jeb Dunnuck)
WE9696 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 4/1/2023
This full wine’s ripe black fruits are velvety in texture and density. Inherently powerful, the wine keeps a great sense of proportion and balance. It has good acidity, with the freshness and balance coming together. Drink from 2027. (Roger Voss)
RP95+95+ pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 6th Apr 2023
The 2020 Pavie Macquin is performing well in bottle, unwinding in the glass with aromas of sweet raspberries and cherries mingled with notions of orange zest, violets, spices, bay leaf and vine smoke. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, it’s deep and fleshy, its ample core of fruit framed by youthfully firm, chalky tannins. As usual, it’s more structured than Larcis Ducasse, and it remains a bottling that will demand some patience, even if the Thienpont team have subtly eased off on extraction over the last few vintages, a welcome trend that I hope will be pushed further. (William Kelley)
SP9595 pts. - Wine Spectator - Mar 31, 2023
Very expressive, with a lovely violet and cassis set of aromas and flavors that spill forth, though this keeps focus and form, as subtle minerality and a very fine-grained structure allows this to flow gracefully through the finish. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2028 through 2040. 4,800 cases made. (James Molesworth)

France | Bordeaux | Saint-Emilion

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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JS9595 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Sunday, May 14, 2023
A beautiful red with black berries, black and green olives, and bitter chocolate. It’s full-bodied with polished tannins. Lots of depth and length. Savory at the end. It’s from dedicated plots of Pavie. Half merlot and half cabernet franc. Not just a second wine. Better after 2028. (James Suckling)
JD9494 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 3/29/2023
The second wine of Château Pavie, the 2020 Aromes De Pavie certainly has some Grand Vin character in its red and black fruits, tobacco, leafy herbs, and chocolate-driven aromas and flavors. Full-bodied and concentrated, with fine tannins and some obvious minerality on the finish, it’s up with the finest second wines in the vintage. It will keep for two decades. (Jeb Dunnuck)
RP91+91–93 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 20th May 2021
Composed of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Arômes de Pavie has an alcohol of 14.78% and a pH of 3.57. It is aging in French oak barriques, 70% new. Deep purple-black in color, it needs a little swirling to unleash its exuberant scents of stewed black plums, black cherry compote and boysenberries, plus hints of tar, sautéed herbs and chargrill. The full-bodied palate packs in the black fruit layers, framed by soft tannins and tons of freshness, finishing long and earthy. (Lisa Perrotti-Brown)
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Primary Grape: Merlot

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JD9999 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 3/29/2023
The Grand Vin comes from a tiny 11.15-hectare vineyard that has been in the Gratiot family since 1893. Located on the south-facing Côte Pavie, between Château Pavie and Château Bellefont-Belcier and consisting of clay on top of limestone soils, the vineyard has recently been going through a replanted phase using a selection massale and a higher density planting. The grapes are hand-sorted, vinification occurs all in concrete and spans four weeks, with the élevage in 50% new French oak. A normal blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Château Larcis Ducasse reminds me of the 2005 and is up with the top handful of wines on the Right Bank. It has a brilliant perfume of red and black fruits, white truffle, leafy tobacco, and Asian spices. This carries to a full-bodied, concentrated, powerful Larcis-Ducasse with ultra-fine yet building tannins, perfect balance, a stacked mid-palate, and one heck of a great finish. It’s going to flirt with perfection in 7–8 years (I’m probably underrating it a point) and have 30 years of overall longevity. Tasted numerous times with consistent results. (Jeb Dunnuck)
VN9898 pts. - Vinous - Feb 2023
The 2020 Larcis Ducasse is a real showstopper. Bright and vertical in feel, the 2020 possesses tremendous energy to match its super-classic build. Beams of tannin and acid give the wine its shape. Dark cherry and pomegranate fruit are pushed forward, with a kick of blood orange acidity that lends freshness. Graphite, dried herbs, menthol, spice and cedar emerge with some coaxing, but the 2020 is very young and very primary. That of course bodes so well for its future. The 2020 is quite simply a thrilling Larcis and one of the very finest values in all of Bordeaux. (Antonio Galloni)
RP9696 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 6th Apr 2023
A beautiful effort that’s more sensual and seamless than Thienpont’s more structured, brooding Pavie Macquin, the 2020 Larcis Ducasse unwinds in the glass with aromas of cherries, blackberries, bay leaf, rose petals and licorice. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with refined tannins, lively acids and a suave, fleshy profile, it concludes with a long, expansive finish. This is a particular success in 2020. (William Kelley)
SP9292 pts. - Wine Spectator - Mar 31, 2023
Ripe, polished and direct, with cassis and black cherry puree forming the core, while light black licorice, violet and sweet tobacco details fill in steadily through the finish. A poised, understated style. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2025 through 2038. 2,850 cases made. (James Molesworth)

France | Bordeaux | Saint-Emilion

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Explore Top Merlot Wines For Under $100

Why Choose Merlot Wines?

Merlot is loved for its soft, rich, and smooth texture, making it a top choice for red wine enthusiasts. This type of grape offers a range of flavors from plum to chocolate, and often includes a hint of herbal notes. This combination creates a complex taste that goes well with meals. Choosing a Merlot under $100 lets you enjoy the high-quality aspects of expensive wines without spending too much. Our selection includes well-known brands like Poggio and Château from famous areas such as Tuscany's Toscana and Bordeaux's Pomerol. Each bottle offers a premium taste experience, ideal for both special events and daily enjoyment.

Tips for Enjoying Your Merlot Wines

To enhance your experience with Merlot wines, serve them at room temperature, ideally around 65°F. This temperature allows the wine's rich flavors and smooth tannins to shine. Merlot pairs wonderfully with a variety of foods including roasted meats, hearty pastas, and medium to strong cheeses. Try different combinations to discover the best match for your palate. Enjoying Merlot with food not only elevates the taste but also makes for a memorable dining experience. Remember, the right pairing can transform a simple meal into a gourmet event.

Frequently Asked Questions About Merlot Wines Under $100

Can I find a good Merlot wine under $100?

Absolutely! Merlot is known for its smooth, rich flavors, and there are excellent options under $100. These wines typically offer a wonderful balance of dark fruit flavors and soft tannins, making them both luxurious and accessible. Our curated selection ensures you get top-quality Merlot without breaking the bank.

How does the flavor profile of Merlot under $100 compare to more expensive Merlot?

While pricier Merlots might feature more layered complexity and a longer finish, Merlots under $100 still deliver a robust experience. Expect to enjoy vibrant flavors of plum, black cherry, and hints of chocolate and spice. These wines are crafted to provide a pleasing palate without the steep price.

Are there any highly rated Merlots available for under $100?

Yes, there are! Several Merlots under $100 have garnered high ratings for their exceptional quality and value. These wines are celebrated for their depth and drinkability, offering a premium wine experience at a more accessible price point.