List Page Learn About Content Graphic

California Merlot

Learn about California Merlot, common tasting notes, defining characteristics and more ...

undefined, null

Today the fourth most widely planted red variety in the state, Merlot has much to offer. While it bears similarities to Cabernet Sauvignon (its half-sibling), it tends to be lower in both acidity and tannins, giving Merlot wines a mouthfeel that is often perceived as soft, round and plush. These qualities make it an ideal blending partner for Cabernet, the two complementing each other throughout.

Merlot arrived relatively late to the California wine scene. It wasn’t until the 1970’s when producers like Louis Martini, Sterling and Matanzas Creek—influenced by European Merlot blends—began crafting single varietal versions. These trend-setting bottles opened the eyes of others in the California wine scene and spurred increased plantings. From there, the variety’s lush drinkability led to a surge in popularity, then overplanting (some of it on unsuitable sites) and finally a backlash that was turbo-charged by the infamous 2004 film, Sideways. What most 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.

Fine examples of California Merlot—either as a single varietal wine or as part of a blend—can be found from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, the Central Coast and most regions around the state. Merlot wines offer a ripe, sensual mouthful of plummy fruit, suggestions of mint, herbs and vanilla, all carried along by an approachable structure and often, a great potential for improving with age.

Filter by
43 Items
43 Items
  • Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2012 Front Label
    Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP98
    • JS98
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $449.00
    Try the
    449
    449
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot 2009 Front Label
    Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot 2009
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WS92
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $139.97
    Try the
    139 97
    139 97
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Mt. Brave Merlot 2009 Front Label
    Mt. Brave Merlot 2009
    Merlot from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
    • WE93
    • RP92
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
    Try the 2016 Vintage 99 99
    74 99
    74 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot 2014 Front Label
    La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP93
    • WS93
    4.0 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $99.99
    Try the 2017 Vintage 89 99
    99 99
    99 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2006 Front Label
    Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2006
    Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP96
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $184.97
    Try the
    184 97
    184 97
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Mt. Brave Merlot 2015 Front Label
    Mt. Brave Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    • JS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
    Try the 2016 Vintage 99 99
    89 99
    89 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Keenan Mailbox Vineyard Spring Mountain Reserve Merlot 2015 Front Label
    Keenan Mailbox Vineyard Spring Mountain Reserve Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • V95
    • WW94
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
    Try the
    89 99
    89 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot 2013 Front Label
    La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    4.4 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
    Try the 2017 Vintage 89 99
    100
    69 99
    Save $30.01 (30%)
  • Keenan Mailbox Vineyard Spring Mountain Reserve Merlot 2014 Front Label
    Keenan Mailbox Vineyard Spring Mountain Reserve Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • W&S94
    • RP93
    4.7 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $84.99
    Try the
    84 99
    84 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • St. Francis Reserve Merlot 2015 Front Label
    St. Francis Reserve Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • JD92
    • RP92
    • WS91
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
    Try the 2017 Vintage 44 99
    52
    43 99
    Save $8.01 (15%)
  • Paul Hobbs Michael Black Vineyard Merlot 2001 Front Label
    Paul Hobbs Michael Black Vineyard Merlot 2001
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP93
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
    Try the
    74 99
    74 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Mt. Brave Merlot 2014 Front Label
    Mt. Brave Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
    • RP91
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $84.99
    Try the 2016 Vintage 99 99
    84 99
    84 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WS92
    • JS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.97
    Try the
    69 97
    69 97
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2010 Front Label
    Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2010
    Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $419.00
    Try the
    419
    419
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
    Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2010
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    • WE91
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
    Try the
    29 99
    29 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2008 Front Label
    Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2008
    Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP99
    • JS96
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $389.97
    Try the
    439
    389 97
    Save $49.03 (11%)
  • Behrens & Hitchcock Alder Springs Ranch Merlot 1999 Front Label
    Behrens & Hitchcock Alder Springs Ranch Merlot 1999
    Merlot from North Coast, California
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $41.99
    Try the
    41 99
    41 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2007 Front Label
    Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2007
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS92
    • RP90
    • CG90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
    Try the
    26 99
    26 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Keenan Mailbox Vineyard Spring Mountain Reserve Merlot 2017  Front Label
    Keenan Mailbox Vineyard Spring Mountain Reserve Merlot 2017
    Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $76.99
    Try the
    76 99
    76 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2013 Front Label
    Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2013
    Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • JS100
    4.7 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $399.99
    Try the
    399 99
    399 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Mt. Brave Merlot 2013 Front Label
    Mt. Brave Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
    Try the 2016 Vintage 99 99
    79 99
    79 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot 2015  Front Label
    La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot 2015
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    • WS93
    • WE93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $99.99
    Try the 2017 Vintage 89 99
    99 99
    99 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Keenan Mailbox Vineyard Spring Mountain Reserve Merlot 2012  Front Label
    Keenan Mailbox Vineyard Spring Mountain Reserve Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
    Try the
    79 99
    79 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Keenan Reserve Merlot 2004 Front Label
    Keenan Reserve Merlot 2004
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE92
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $55.99
    Try the
    55 99
    55 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2015 Front Label
    Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2015
    Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP98
    • JD96
    • JS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $399.00
    Try the
    399
    399
    Save $0.00 (0%)
Sorry, we couldn't find any matches.

Internet Explorer is no longer supported.
Please use a different browser like Edge, Chrome or Firefox to enjoy all that Wine.com has to offer.

It's easy to make the switch.
Enjoy better browsing and increased security.

Yes, Update Now

Search for ""

Processing Your Order...