Best Merlot Wines For Under $75

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Somerston Stornoway

Napa Valley Estate Grown
2012 / 750 ml.

Item #: 81964

VN9191 pts. - Vinous - Dec 2014
The 2012 Red Blend Stornoway is a bit darker and richer than the estate’s Cabernet, but it doesn’t have that wine’s sheer immediacy and appeal. Hints of tobacco, smoke, cherry compote and licorice emerge over time, but the Stornoway remains compact and not fully expressive.
RP8989 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 30th Oct 2014
The 2012 Proprietary Red Blend Stornoway, which is a blend of primarily Merlot with a nice healthy dose of Cabernet Franc, shows notes of Asian plum sauce mixed with foresty notes, underbrush, red and black currants, mocha and chocolate. It’s a nice chunky, fleshy wine to drink over the next decade.
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United States | California | Napa Valley

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Château Quinault L’Enclos

2016 / 750 ml.

Item #: 94052

RP9393 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 30th Nov 2018
This was the first vintage that technical director Pierre-Olivier Clouet started to exclusively use 500-liter barrels for Quinault l’Enclos, decreasing the surface area to which the wines are exposed and, ultimately, the impact of the oak. The percentage of new oak is around 50%, and the blend is 68% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Quinault l’Enclos opens with expressive redcurrants, black raspberries and black cherries scents with savory suggestions of tapenade, dried herbs and tobacco plus a waft of cloves. Medium-bodied, the palate is fantastically bright and lively with loads of red fruit accents and a firm frame of grainy tannins, finishing on an earthy note.
JD9292 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - February 28, 2019
Another fresh, pretty wine from the team at Cheval Blanc, the 2016 Château Quinault l’Enclos has nuanced notes of black cherries, blackberries, leafy herbs, and saddle leather. Medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced and seamless on the palate, with terrific purity, it will benefit from just a handful of years in the cellar. (Jeb Dunnuck)
JS9292 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Sunday, February 3, 2019
A juicy and very elegant Quinault, showing hazelnut, dark-berry and cedar character. Medium body, with a lovely, fine-tannin texture and a delicious finish. Drink after 2022.
VN9292 pts. - Vinous - Jan 2019
The 2016 Quinault L’Enclos is very pretty and also intensely aromatic. Savory herb, mint, dried cherry, mocha and sweet tobacco are all lifted in this super-precise, nuanced Saint-Émilion. All the elements fall into place effortlessly. The 2016 is precise, nuanced and exquisitely beautiful, all in the understated style that is typical here.
WE9191 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 5/1/2019
This smooth wine is still lightly woody but has great fruit that will shine strongly over the next months. Juicy black-currant flavors are right up front, giving freshness to this attractive, fruity wine. It will be ready to drink from 2022.
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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval Vineyard

2017 / 750 ml.

Item #: 97303

VN9595 pts. - Vinous - Mar 2022
Weighing in at 14.8% alcohol, the 2017 Red Wine Ciel du Cheval blends equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc from this outstanding site on Red Mountain. On the nose, it develops creosote tones alongside red florals, wintergreen, cigar ash and suggestions of Asian spices that all take shape in the glass. The palate is seamless and soft, delivering rich red and dark fruit flavors alongside black licorice and a hint of menthol. Glorious to consume now, the 2017 Ciel du Cheval could easily be a 20-year wine.
RP9494 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 22nd Oct 2020
Dark ruby in color, the 2017 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard is dark-fruited with juicy black plum, blackberry essence and dark cherry with hints of currants and cassis. Soft aromas of red flowers and pencil shavings waft with a dusty tension. Medium to full-bodied, the wine shows precision with an elegant frame and sturdy tannins, ending with a long-lingering, mineral finish with high-tone red fruits of dark, dusty cherry skin and red plum skin. This will drink fantastically for the next decade, but it won’t do you wrong if you open a bottle tomorrow. Bravo!
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United States | Washington | Red Mountain

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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No. 3 d’Angélus

2019 / 750 ml.

Item #: 97921

JS9292 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Thursday, March 3, 2022
Sweet berry and cherry aromas with hints of plums, following through to a medium body with firm, silky tannins and a fresh, vivid finish. Lovely fruit and fine tannins. Drink after 2025.
RP88+88–90 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 10th Jun 2020
The 2019 No 3 d’Angelus is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, coming from a selection of younger vines. Fifty percent is being aged in stainless steel. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with bold, pure black fruits — fresh plums, blackberries and boysenberries — with hints of cloves, iron ore and kirsch. Medium-bodied, lively and softly textured, with beautifully bright, uncomplicated fruit, it finishes with lovely harmony.
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Primary Grape: Merlot

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JS9595 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Sunday, February 20, 2022
Beautiful clarity of crushed red berries with dried flowers and sliced oyster mushrooms on the nose. Full-bodied with layers of ripe tannins and juicy fruit. Chocolate and walnut character comes through, together with hints of vanilla bean. Beautifully curated. 76% merlot, 20% cabernet franc and 4% cabernet sauvignon. Try after 2025.
JD9494 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 4/11/2022
A consistently impressive Saint-Emilion, the 2019 Château Fleur Cardinale shows the vintage beautifully, with a medium to full-bodied, elegant style as well as classic darker cherry and mulberry fruits, notes of dried herbs, loamy earth, and incense, supple yet present tannins, and a great finish. It’s one classy, balanced 2019 to drink over the coming two decades. (Jeb Dunnuck)
SP9292 pts. - Wine Spectator - Mar 31, 2022
Richly textured, with currant and fig paste notes rolling through slowly, laced liberally with humus, alder and tobacco. A touch burly, but the fruit has an unctuous hint as a counterbalance. This is for fans of the bigger style. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2024 through 2037. 8,750 cases made, 3,000 cases imported. (James Molesworth)
RP9292 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 7th Apr 2022
The 2019 Fleur Cardinale derives from a late-ripening site on the north-facing side of Saint-Émilion’s limestone plateau. Revealing aromas of jammy cherries, spices, dark chocolate and mocha, it’s full-bodied, broad and velvety, with powdery tannins and a generous core of lively fruit, concluding with a chalky finish. This is a fleshy, front-loaded wine in a contemporary style that will please consumers who favor power and richness, but which will leave purists wondering if less might be more.
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France | Bordeaux | Saint-Emilion

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Château Le Bon Pasteur Pomerol

2020 / 750 ml.

Item #: 99207

JS9494 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Thursday, January 5, 2023
Aromas of blackberries, black olive skin, bark and mushrooms follow through to a medium to full body with round, polished tannins and a slightly smoky, meaty and juicy finish to the fruit. Chewy at the end. Chunky. 80% merlot and 20% cabernet franc. Drink after 2027.
JD93+93–95 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 5/23/2021
Emerging from the home estate of renowned consultant Michel Rolland, the 2020 Château Le Bon Pasteur sports a deep, inky purple hue to go with its medium to full-bodied aromas and flavors of ripe black fruit, smoked herbs, tobacco, and scorched earth. With terrific overall balance, fabulous tannins, and a deep, concentrated mid-palate, this beautiful Pomerol might be up with the finest wines I have ever tasted from this address. Tasted twice. (Jeb Dunnuck)
SP9393 pts. - Wine Spectator - Mar 31, 2023
Solid, with a winey core of red and black currant and blackberry compote flavors studded with briar, tobacco leaf and humus. Shows a slightly chunky edge on the finish, but has good stuffing and energy for the vintage. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2025 through 2036. 2,000 cases made, 500 cases imported. (James Molesworth)
WE91+91–93 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 1/1/2021
Barrel Sample. This wine is rich with dense tannins and equally dense black fruits. The weight and the concentration of the black plum flavors promise a powerful wine—spice and pepper likely to show alongside the texture. (Roger Voss)
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France | Bordeaux | Pomerol

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot

2019 / 750 ml.

Item #: 98431

VN9393 pts. - Vinous - Jan 2022
The 2019 Merlot is very pretty in this vintage. Floral and spice notes give the Merlot a striking aromatic upper register that is both distinctive and alluring. Sweet red cherry, cinnamon and rose petal all build nicely in the glass. Best of all, the Pride Merlot will drink well right out of the gate. (Antonio Galloni)
JD9090 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 5/4/2022
The classic 2019 Merlot comes 70% from Napa County and 30% from Sonoma County. It offers more black cherry and darker fruits as well as Bordeaux-like notes of cedarwood, damp earth, and spice. Medium-bodied on the palate, nicely balanced, and textured, it has a firmer edge that’s going to soften with a year or two of bottle age. It should drink nicely through 2029. (Jeb Dunnuck)
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United States | California | North Coast

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Château Malescot St.-Exupery

2020 / 750 ml.

Item #: 1138

JS9797 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Sunday, May 14, 2023
Lots of blackcurrants and blueberries on the nose, together with walnuts and chocolate. Full-bodied and very layered, with super depth and plushness, offering currant, crushed-stone and bitter-chocolate flavors. Very lush for this wine, but velvety and structured at the same time. Needs four to six years of bottle age. Try after 2027. (James Suckling)
RP95+95–97 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 20th May 2021
Sporting a deep purple-black color, the 2020 Malescot St. Exupery prances out of the glass with showy scents of ripe black and red currants, black cherries, raspberry leaves and ground cloves, plus wafts of lilacs and tilled soil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-coating black and red fruit layers with a firm, grainy texture and well-balanced acidity, finishing on a lingering fragrant-earth note. (Lisa Perrotti-Brown)
VN9595 pts. - Vinous - Feb 2023
The 2020 Malescot Saint Exupéry is absolutely gorgeous. Deep and silky (that is not a typo) Malescot shows a level of finesse that is truly remarkable. There is still plenty of textural intensity, but also greater elegance than in the recent past. Succulent dark cherry, plum, licorice, incense and blood orange all run through this wonderfully sumptuous, expressive Margaux. Give this a few years in bottle. Superb. (Antonio Galloni)
JD94+94+ pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 3/29/2023
Beautiful cassis, smoky oak, graphite, blackberries, and scorched earth notes emerge from the 2020 Château Malescot Saint Exupéry, another incredibly impressive wine from Margaux in the vintage. With medium to full-bodied richness, it has plenty of mid-palate depth, the building, firmer tannins of the vintage, fabulous purity of fruit, and a great finish. Hide bottles for 4–5 years and enjoy over the following 15–20 years. (Jeb Dunnuck)
SP9292 pts. - Wine Spectator - Mar 31, 2023
A ripe, slightly flashy style, with a lovely core of mulled plum and blackberry fruit laced with black tea and singed sandalwood. Reveals a very caressing feel through the finish, with hints of mocha and dark tobacco filling in. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2026 through 2036. (James Molesworth)
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France | Bordeaux | Medoc | Margaux

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Primary Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon

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Château Boyd-Cantenac Margaux

2020 / 750 ml.

Item #: 1162

JS9292 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Sunday, May 14, 2023
Pretty nose of cherries, bark, dried flowers, charcoal and graphite. Excellent freshness here, with juicy berry fruit and firm, tea-like tannins. Mineral at the end. Drink from 2025. (James Suckling)
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France | Bordeaux | Medoc | Margaux

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Primary Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon

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Château Cantenac Brown Margaux

2020 / 750 ml.

Item #: 1345

JD9696 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 3/9/2023
The 2020 Château Cantenac Brown showed beautifully and is a serious, concentrated, powerful Margaux that’s going to need bottle age. Ripe blackcurrants, toasty oak, ripe tobacco, and dried flower notes all define the aromatics, and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a layered, balanced mouthfeel, beautiful tannins, and a great finish. It shows the more focused, slightly understated style of the vintage, yet everything is in the right place, it has terrific purity, and it’s just a brilliant Margaux. I followed this bottle for multiple days, and it never put a foot wrong. It will hit its prime drinking window in 7–8 years and evolve for two decades. (Jeb Dunnuck)
JS9595 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Sunday, May 14, 2023
Plenty of blackberry, spice, iron and crushed lead pencil aromas follow through to a full body with chewy, velvety tannins and a rather cool side to it. Crushed stone and slate undertones. Try after 2026. (James Suckling)
RP94+94+ pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 6th Apr 2023
A fine follow-up to the excellent 2019, the 2020 Cantenac Brown incorporates newly acquired holdings of Cabernet Sauvignon from the plateau of Margaux. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of cherries, cassis, burning embers and pencil shavings, it’s medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with good depth at the core, supple tannins and terrific purity of fruit. Concluding with a long, penetrating finish, it underlines the fact that this is the appellation’s fastest-improving estate. (William Kelley)
SP9494 pts. - Wine Spectator - Mar 31, 2023
Ripe, rounded and suave in feel, with alluring waves of cassis and dark cherry reduction laced with sandalwood, black tea and violet notes. Broad, velvety and perfumed through the finish, with a subtle sanguine hint echoing late. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2028 through 2038. 10,416 cases made. (James Molesworth)
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France | Bordeaux | Medoc | Margaux

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Primary Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon

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Château Beau Séjour-Bécot

Saint-Émilion Grand Cru
2020 / 750 ml.

Item #: 1349

VN9797 pts. - Vinous - Feb 2023
The 2020 Beau-Sejour Becot is a dense, powerful wine. A rush of black cherry, plum, chocolate, new leather, licorice, spice and sweet oak builds as this towering, vertically explosive Saint-Émilion opens in the glass. This is an especially broad, expansive Saint-Émilion, much of that attributable to the clay in these soils. The 2020 is magnificent in its intensity and overall volume. Superb. (Antonio Galloni)
JS96+96–97 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Wednesday, June 2, 2021
This has a fantastic finish with crushed blackberries and raspberries and salt undertones. It’s full-bodied, yet really racy and polished with such fine, intense tannins. Love the length to this. Very distinguished and toned. Excellent energy. 85% merlot, 13% cabernet franc and 2% cabernet sauvignon. (James Suckling)
RP95+95+ pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 6th Apr 2023
A terrific performance for an estate on a continuing upward trajectory, the 2020 Beau-Séjour Bécot unwinds in the glass with a deep bouquet of cherries and blackberries mingled with violets and spices. Medium to full-bodied, pure and layered, it’s deep and concentrated, with a vibrant core of fruit, polished tannins and a long, sapid finish. The 2020 is a blend of 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, some two-thirds of which was matured in new oak, with the balance in tanks, amphorae and foudres. (William Kelley)
JD9595 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 3/29/2023
A brilliant wine that’s up with the finest to date from this incredible terroir, the 2020 Château Beau-Séjour Bécot checks in as 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon. Revealing a vivid purple hue as well as a drop-dead gorgeous nose of black raspberries, cassis, violets, and a liquid rock-like sense of minerality, it’s medium to full-bodied and concentrated, with ultra-fine tannins and perfect balance. This beauty deserves 4–5 years of bottle age and will evolve gracefully over the following two decades or more. Don’t miss it. (Jeb Dunnuck)
SP9494 pts. - Wine Spectator - Mar 31, 2023
Very expressive, with cassis, cherry puree and plum pâte de fruit notes leaping to the fore with good energy, while violet, red tea, savory and sanguine details add range and guile through the stylish finish. It’s not easy to capture such freshness in this vintage like this version does. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2026 through 2038. (James Molesworth)
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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Château Kirwan Margaux

2020 / 750 ml.

Item #: 1624

JS9494 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Sunday, May 14, 2023
Attractive nose of hazelnuts, chocolate, blueberries, blackcurrants, peach pits and sandalwood. Hints of olives and mushrooms, too. Complex, layered and integrated, with a medium to full body and powdery tannins. Long and savory at the end. Drink from 2025. (James Suckling)
JD9494 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 3/29/2023
Lots of smoky oak, ripe blackcurrants, blueberries, tobacco, and chocolaty notes emerge from the 2020 Château Kirwan, a richly textured, medium to full-bodied Margaux. A wine that blossoms with time in the glass, it’s a plush, sexy, yet brilliantly balanced 2020 offering velvety tannins and a great finish, and while the oak is present right on opening, it integrates beautifully with air. This beauty is going to put a smile on your face any time over the coming 20–25 years. (Jeb Dunnuck)
RP92+92+ pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 6th Apr 2023
Exhibiting aromas of sweet black fruits and licorice mingled with hints of creamy new oak, the 2020 Kirwan is medium to full-bodied, deep and fleshy, with polished tannins, notably tangy acids for the vintage, and a suave, seamless profile despite its creditable concentration. In terms of aromatic purity and managed extraction, this is the finest Kirwan for some time. (William Kelley)
SP9292 pts. - Wine Spectator - Mar 31, 2023
A velvety, seductive style, with warmed plum and black currant confiture laced with worn cedar, smoldering black tea and violet. Shows a subtle sanguine twinge at the very end that adds lift. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2026 through 2036. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 8,333 cases made, 1,666 cases imported. (James Molesworth)
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France | Bordeaux | Medoc | Margaux

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Primary Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon

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PlumpJack Merlot

2019 / 750 ml.

Item #: 99010

JD9494 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 5/4/2022
A beautiful Merlot, the 2019 from PlumpJack offers everything you could want from this variety with its plump, fleshy, medium to full-bodied profile as well as terrific aromatics of black cherries, darker berries, leafy herbs, spring flowers, and a touch of chocolate. It’s ready to go yet should continue delivering the goods over the coming decade. (Jeb Dunnuck)
VN9494 pts. - Vinous - Jan 2022
Plumpjack’s 2019 Merlot offers terrific tension and grip. In 2019, the Merlot includes fruit from a site in Carneros, and that seams to add an extra dimension of energy that is quite appealing. Dried herbs, leather, tobacco and crushed flowers lend striking aromatic nuance to this savory, beautifully delineated wine. The 2019 is super distinctive, not to mention a real pleasure to taste. (Antonio Galloni)
SP9393 pts. - Wine Spectator - Nov 15, 2023
Polished and well-knit, this opulent red features red currant, savory spice and licorice flavors that build richness and structure toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2029. 5,378 cases made. (Tim Fish)
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United States | California | Napa Valley

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Cakebread Cellars Merlot

2021 / 750 ml.

Item #: 2180

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United States | California | Napa Valley

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot

2021 / 750 ml.

Item #: 2352

VN9393 pts. - Vinous - Dec 2023
The 2021 Merlot is packed with dark blue/purplish fruit, new leather, spice, tobacco, mocha and licorice. Juicy and enveloping, with terrific energy, the Merlot is absolutely delicious. The brighter style here is so compelling. Plush contours wrap it all together. (Antonio Galloni)
JD9292 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 12/26/2023
Lots of red plums, darker chocolate, and tobacco notes emerge from the 2021 Merlot, a beautifully textured, medium-bodied Pomerol look-alike that has fine tannins, notable purity, and a great finish. It’s beautifully done and an utterly delicious, satisfying Merlot to drink over the coming decade. (Jeb Dunnuck)
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United States | California | North Coast

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Primary Grape: Merlot

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Explore Top Merlot Wines For Under $75

Why Choose Merlot Wines?

Merlot is an excellent choice for those who love soft, rich-tasting wines. It is known for its smooth tannins and juicy dark fruit flavors, making it a great wine to enjoy with various foods, from rich meats to soft cheeses. Our list of the best Merlot wines under $75 includes well-known brands like Somerston, Château, and Cakebread Cellars. These wines come from famous areas such as Napa Valley and the Saint-Emilion Grand Cru in Bordeaux. They demonstrate Merlot's versatility and richness, offering an affordable luxury for any occasion.

Tips for Enjoying Your Merlot Wines

To enhance your enjoyment of Merlot wines, serve them at room temperature, ideally around 65°F. This temperature helps to bring out the wine's rich flavors and smooth tannins. Merlot goes well with a variety of foods, including roasted meats, hearty pastas, and aged cheeses. For the best tasting experience, use a wide, bell-shaped glass to fully appreciate its aroma. Consider decanting your Merlot for about 30 minutes to fully release its bouquet and flavors. Enjoy exploring the perfect pairings that please your palate!

Frequently Asked Questions About Merlot Wines Under $75

Can I find a good Merlot wine under $75?

Absolutely! Merlot is versatile and offers excellent options under $75. These wines typically showcase rich flavors of black cherry, plum, and hints of chocolate and vanilla. Our curated selection ensures you can enjoy top-quality Merlot without breaking the bank.

How does the flavor profile of Merlot under $75 compare to more expensive Merlot?

While pricier Merlots might feature more layered complexity and refined tannins, Merlots under $75 still deliver a robust taste experience. Expect wines that offer a harmonious blend of fruitiness and smooth textures, making them both delightful and accessible.

Are there any highly rated Merlot wines available for under $75?

Yes, there are! Several Merlots priced under $75 have earned high ratings for their exceptional quality and overall drinking experience. These selections include wines from renowned regions, praised for their rich flavors and smooth finish.