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California Merlot

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

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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.

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  • 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
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $139.97
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    139 97
    139 97
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  • Summercloud Merlot 2009 Front Label
    Summercloud Merlot 2009
    Merlot from Mendocino, California
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $32.99
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      32 99
      32 99
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    • Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot 2009 Front Label
      Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot 2009
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • WS94
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $55.99
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      55 99
      55 99
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    • Brass Tacks Merlot 2009 Front Label
      Brass Tacks Merlot 2009
      Merlot from Central Coast, California
        4.3 9 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        19 99
        19 99
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      • 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
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $74.99
        Try the 2016 Vintage 89 99
        74 99
        74 99
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      • Jekel Merlot 2009 Front Label
        Jekel Merlot 2009
        Merlot from California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $15.00
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          15
          15
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        • Buccella Merlot 2009 Front Label
          Buccella Merlot 2009
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Price per bottle
            Currently Unavailable $119.97
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            119 97
            119 97
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          • Beringer Founders' Estate Merlot 2009 Front Label
            Beringer Founders' Estate Merlot 2009
            Merlot from California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Price per bottle
              Currently Unavailable $11.99
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              11 99
              11 99
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            • Folie a Deux Merlot 2009 Front Label
              Folie a Deux Merlot 2009
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Price per bottle
                Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                17 99
                17 99
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              • Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot 2009 Front Label
                Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot 2009
                Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                • WE92
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Price per bottle
                Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                26
                22 99
                Save $3.01 (12%)
              • Keenan Napa Valley Merlot 2009 Front Label
                Keenan Napa Valley Merlot 2009
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                • RP91
                • WE90
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Price per bottle
                Currently Unavailable $39.99
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                39 99
                39 99
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              • Franciscan Estate Merlot 2009 Front Label
                Franciscan Estate Merlot 2009
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Price per bottle
                  Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                  22 99
                  22 99
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                • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2009 Front Label
                  Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2009
                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                  • WE91
                  3.6 5 Ratings
                  Price per bottle
                  Currently Unavailable $49.99
                  Try the 2018 Vintage 51 99
                  49 99
                  49 99
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                • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2009 Front Label
                  Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2009
                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                    4.3 7 Ratings
                    Price per bottle
                    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                    49 99
                    49 99
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                  • Valley Legend Napa Valley Merlot 2009 Front Label
                    Valley Legend Napa Valley Merlot 2009
                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Price per bottle
                      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                      25
                      14 99
                      Save $10.01 (40%)
                    • Leese-Fitch Merlot 2009 Front Label
                      Leese-Fitch Merlot 2009
                      Merlot from California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Price per bottle
                        Currently Unavailable $13.99
                        Try the 2018 Vintage 12 99
                        13 99
                        13 99
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                      • Veedercrest Vintners Select Merlot 2009 Front Label
                        Veedercrest Vintners Select Merlot 2009
                        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Price per bottle
                          Currently Unavailable $27.98
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                          30
                          27 98
                          Save $2.02 (7%)
                        • World's End Little Sister Reserve Merlot 2009 Front Label
                          World's End Little Sister Reserve Merlot 2009
                          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                          • WS92
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Price per bottle
                          Currently Unavailable $34.99
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                          45
                          34 99
                          Save $10.01 (22%)
                        • Mirassou Merlot 2009 Front Label
                          Mirassou Merlot 2009
                          Merlot from California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Price per bottle
                            Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                            10 99
                            10 99
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                          • Cupcake Vineyards Merlot 2009 Front Label
                            Cupcake Vineyards Merlot 2009
                            Merlot from Central Coast, California
                              3.6 5 Ratings
                              Price per bottle
                              Currently Unavailable $10.29
                              Try the 2019 Vintage 10 99
                              13 99
                              10 29
                              Save $3.70 (26%)
                            • BV Century Cellars Merlot 2009 Front Label
                              BV Century Cellars Merlot 2009
                              Merlot from California
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Price per bottle
                                Currently Unavailable $6.99
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                                7 99
                                6 99
                                Save $1.00 (13%)
                              • Wines That Rock Rolling Stones Forty Licks Merlot 2009 Front Label
                                Wines That Rock Rolling Stones Forty Licks Merlot 2009
                                Merlot from North Coast, California
                                  0.0 0 Ratings
                                  Price per bottle
                                  Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                                  15 99
                                  15 99
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                                • Oberon Merlot 2009 Front Label
                                  Oberon Merlot 2009
                                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                  • RP89
                                  0.0 0 Ratings
                                  Price per bottle
                                  Currently Unavailable $18.99
                                  Try the 2019 Vintage 22 99
                                  22
                                  18 99
                                  Save $3.01 (14%)
                                • ONEHOPE California Merlot 2009 Front Label
                                  ONEHOPE California Merlot 2009
                                  Merlot from California
                                    0.0 0 Ratings
                                    Price per bottle
                                    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                                    19
                                    15 99
                                    Save $3.01 (16%)
                                  • Rutherford Ranch Merlot 2009 Front Label
                                    Rutherford Ranch Merlot 2009
                                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                      0.0 0 Ratings
                                      Price per bottle
                                      Currently Unavailable $17.99
                                      Try the 2018 Vintage 23 99
                                      17 99
                                      17 99
                                      Save $0.00 (0%)
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