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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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221 Items
  • Jade Mountain Paras Vineyard Merlot (1.5 Liter) 2000 Front Label
    Jade Mountain Paras Vineyard Merlot (1.5 Liter) 2000
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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      99 99
      39 99
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    • Provenance Vineyards Carneros Merlot (1.5 Liter) 2000 Front Label
      Provenance Vineyards Carneros Merlot (1.5 Liter) 2000
      Merlot from Carneros, California
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        Currently Unavailable $44.99
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        44 99
        44 99
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      • Dom. St. George Merlot 2000
        Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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          Currently Unavailable $9.99
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          9 99
          9 99
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        • Robert Mondavi Napa Merlot 2000 Front Label
          Robert Mondavi Napa Merlot 2000
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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            Currently Unavailable $25.99
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          • Artesa Napa Merlot 2000 Front Label
            Artesa Napa Merlot 2000
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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              Currently Unavailable $27.99
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              27 99
              27 99
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            • Buena Vista Merlot 2000
              Merlot from California
              • WE88
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              Currently Unavailable $12.99
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              13 99
              12 99
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            • Crosspoint Paso Rolbes Merlot 2000 Front Label
              Crosspoint Paso Rolbes Merlot 2000
              Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                14 99
                14 99
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              • Rabbit Ridge CA Barrel Cuvee Merlot 2000
                Merlot from California
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                  Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                  14 99
                  14 99
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                • Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Merlot 2000
                  Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                    21 99
                    21 99
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                  • Chateau St. Jean Merlot 2000 Front Label
                    Chateau St. Jean Merlot 2000
                    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                      Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                      23 99
                      23 99
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                    • Clos Du Val Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2000
                      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                        Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                        13 99
                        13 99
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                      • Robert Mondavi Private Selection Merlot 2000 Front Label
                        Robert Mondavi Private Selection Merlot 2000
                        Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                          Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                          10 99
                          10 99
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                        • Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Merlot 2000
                          Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                            Currently Unavailable $29.49
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                            29 49
                            29 49
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                          • Frei Brothers Reserve Merlot 2000
                            Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                            • W&S88
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                            Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                            15 99
                            15 99
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                          • Chalk Hill Merlot 2000 Front Label
                            Chalk Hill Merlot 2000
                            Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                            • WE89
                            • RP89
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                            Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                            49 99
                            49 99
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                          • Ravenswood Sonoma Merlot 2000 Front Label
                            Ravenswood Sonoma Merlot 2000
                            Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                              Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                              19 99
                              19 99
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                            • Dynamite Vineyards Dynamite Merlot 2000 Front Label
                              Dynamite Vineyards Dynamite Merlot 2000
                              Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                              • WS88
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                              Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                              15 99
                              11 99
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                            • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2000 Front Label
                              Pahlmeyer Merlot 2000
                              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                                Currently Unavailable $91.97
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                                91 97
                                91 97
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                              • Atalon Merlot 2000 Front Label
                                Atalon Merlot 2000
                                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                                  Currently Unavailable $37.99
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                                  37 99
                                  37 99
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                                • Artesa Sonoma Merlot 2000 Front Label
                                  Artesa Sonoma Merlot 2000
                                  Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                                    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                                    23 99
                                    23 99
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                                  • Merryvale Las Amigas Beckstoffer Vineyard Merlot 2000 Front Label
                                    Merryvale Las Amigas Beckstoffer Vineyard Merlot 2000
                                    Merlot from Carneros, California
                                    • W&S89
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                                    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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                                    36 99
                                    36 99
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                                  • Nickel & Nickel Harris Vineyard Merlot 2000  Front Label
                                    Nickel & Nickel Harris Vineyard Merlot 2000
                                    Merlot from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                                    • WE93
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                                    Currently Unavailable $39.97
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                                    39 97
                                    39 97
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                                  • Dry Creek Vineyard Merlot 2000 Front Label
                                    Dry Creek Vineyard Merlot 2000
                                    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                                      Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                                      22 99
                                      22 99
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                                    • Beringer Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2000 Front Label
                                      Beringer Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2000
                                      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                        3.8 6 Ratings
                                        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                                        75
                                        29 99
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                                      • Raymond Estates Merlot 2000 Front Label
                                        Raymond Estates Merlot 2000
                                        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                        • WE89
                                        0.0 0 Ratings
                                        Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                                        11 99
                                        10 99
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