Decoy Merlot - WineO Mark Review

decoy merlot

The Decoy Merlot was featured in the Top 25 California Merlot Wines in the United States in 2018. It also received 90 points by Wine Enthusiast in 2017 and is among the most popular wines among Vivino users in the same year. 

If you’re looking for an excellent wine that has intense black fruit aromas and rich flavor, you should check out this wine which costs only around ~$20.

Who Makes Decoy Merlot?

Decoy was established in 1985 and is part of the Duckhorn Wine Company. They concentrate on producing quality wines at attractive prices. What started as a single, second-label wine, it soon became its own focused winery in 2008 and added more wine selections including the Merlot.

Their vineyards are found in Ridgeline and Brownell estate which are in Alexander Valley of Sonoma County.

Our Decoy Merlot Review


You’ll immediately know that this is a Decoy wine because of its signature duck logo. However, other than that, it’s your typical merlot wine bottle. Pouring the wine, I first noticed a deep violet color. However, the sides of the glass look more like a deep red hue. 


Once I opened the bottle, I immediately got a bright black cherry aroma. After some swirls, I can smell some mild leather, oak, cherry, and chocolate. 


The palate confirms the aroma that I mentioned above. I can taste ripe black cherries, blackberries, and blueberries. There’s also a hint of juicy plum and vanilla. Additionally, the tobacco and earthy taste provide a good complexity to this wine.


The Decoy Merlot is medium-bodied, has medium tannins, and as well as medium acidity. It has a smooth, long, and complex finish. Overall, this wine has a very nice balance for its price.

WineO Mark Rating

Decoy Merlot

Recommend for Red Wine Drinkers
85 Points
  • Quality Price Ratio: B+
  • Taste: B+
good value

Where to Buy?

You can get this wine in Safeway, Bevmo, Vivino, Total Wine, and other wine retailers for around ~$20.


Is Decoy a Good Merlot?

Yes, the Decoy Merlot is a good solid wine with an intense aroma and rich flavors. If you’re looking for a red wine for around $20, this wine could be on your list of choices.

Is Decoy Merlot Dry?

Yes, the Decoy Merlot is a dry red wine. It’s medium-bodied with a nice balance of acidity.

What Does Decoy Merlot Taste Like?

The Decoy Merlot tastes like blackberries, blueberries, and plum. You can also get a taste of vanilla and some earthy flavors like tobacco and oak in it.

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