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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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  • Behrens & Hitchcock Las Amigas Merlot Oakville 2000
    Merlot from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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      Currently Unavailable $39.97
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      39 97
      39 97
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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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        44 99
        44 99
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      • 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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          44 99
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        • Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Merlot 2000 Front Label
          Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Merlot 2000
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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            Currently Unavailable $32.99
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            32 99
            32 99
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          • Baron Herzog Merlot (OU Kosher) 2000
            Merlot from California
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              Currently Unavailable $16.99
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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 $27.99
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                27 99
                27 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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                • Alexander Valley Vineyards 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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                  • Raymond Reserve Selection Merlot 2000 Front Label
                    Raymond Reserve Selection Merlot 2000
                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                    • WE91
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                    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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                    27 99
                    27 99
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                  • Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Merlot 2000 Front Label
                    Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Merlot 2000
                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                    • W&S92
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                    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                    19 99
                    19 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 $55.99
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                    55 99
                    55 99
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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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                    • Merryvale Las Amigas Beckstoffer Vineyard Merlot 2000 Front Label
                      Merryvale Las Amigas Beckstoffer Vineyard Merlot 2000
                      Merlot from Carneros, California
                      • W&S89
                      0.0 0 Ratings
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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
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                          Currently Unavailable $79.99
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                          79 99
                          79 99
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                        • Raymond Estates Merlot 2000 Front Label
                          Raymond Estates Merlot 2000
                          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                          • WE89
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                          Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                          11 99
                          10 99
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                        • Murphy-Goode Reserve Merlot Robert Young Vineyard 2000 Front Label
                          Murphy-Goode Reserve Merlot Robert Young Vineyard 2000
                          Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                            Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                            49 99
                            49 99
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                          • Clos Pegase Mitsuko's Vineyard Merlot 2000 Front Label
                            Clos Pegase Mitsuko's Vineyard Merlot 2000
                            Merlot from Carneros, California
                            • W&S93
                            0.0 0 Ratings
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                            Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                            29 99
                            29 99
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                          • Geyser Peak Merlot 2000
                            Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                              Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                              21 99
                              21 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 $18.99
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                                18 99
                                18 99
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                              • Talus Merlot 2000
                                Merlot from California
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                                  Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                                  10 99
                                  10 99
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                                • St. Supery Merlot (half-bottle) 2000
                                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                  • W&S85
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                                  Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                                  15 99
                                  15 99
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                                • Bel Arbor Merlot 2000
                                  Merlot from California
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                                    Currently Unavailable $7.99
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                                    7 99
                                    7 99
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                                  • Haywood Merlot 2000 Front Label
                                    Haywood Merlot 2000
                                    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                                      Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                                      10 99
                                      10 99
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