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
13 Items
13 Items
  • St. Francis Reserve Merlot 2013 Front Label
    St. Francis Reserve Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    4.6 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
    Try the 2017 Vintage 44 99
    50
    44 99
    Save $5.01 (10%)
  • Hourglass Blueline Vineyard Merlot 2013 Front Label
    Hourglass Blueline Vineyard Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE93
    • RP92
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $84.99
    Try the 2018 Vintage 79 99
    84 99
    84 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain Merlot 2013 Front Label
    Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    • WW92
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
    Try the 2017 Vintage 69 99
    69 99
    69 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Tamber Bey Deux Chevaux Vineyard Merlot 2013  Front Label
    Tamber Bey Deux Chevaux Vineyard Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
    Try the
    79 99
    79 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Keenan Mailbox Vineyard Spring Mountain Reserve Merlot 2013 Front Label
    Keenan Mailbox Vineyard Spring Mountain Reserve Merlot 2013
    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%)
  • PlumpJack Merlot 2013 Front Label
    PlumpJack Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
    Try the
    57 99
    57 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%)
  • 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%)
  • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2013 Front Label
    Pahlmeyer Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP96
    • WS92
    4.9 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
    Try the
    85
    79 99
    Save $5.01 (6%)
  • La Jota W.S. Keyes Merlot 2013 Front Label
    La Jota W.S. Keyes Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $134.99
    Try the
    150
    134 99
    Save $15.01 (10%)
  • Beringer Bancroft Ranch Vineyard Merlot 2013 Front Label
    Beringer Bancroft Ranch Vineyard Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.97
    Try the
    59 97
    59 97
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Gundlach Bundschu Merlot 2013 Front Label
    Gundlach Bundschu Merlot 2013
    Merlot from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.98
    Try the
    35
    29 98
    Save $5.02 (14%)
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...