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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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  • Bogle Merlot 2000
    Merlot from California
    • WS86
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  • Heron Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Heron Merlot 2000
    Merlot from California
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    • Bel Arbor Merlot 2000
      Merlot from California
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      • Haywood Merlot 2000 Front Label
        Haywood Merlot 2000
        Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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        • Murphy-Goode Merlot (half-bottle) 2000 Front Label
          Murphy-Goode Merlot (half-bottle) 2000
          Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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        • Ravenswood Vintners Blend Merlot 2000 Front Label
          Ravenswood Vintners Blend Merlot 2000
          Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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          • Talus Merlot 2000
            Merlot from California
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            • Rabbit Ridge CA Barrel Cuvee Merlot 2000
              Merlot from California
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              • St. Supery Merlot (half-bottle) 2000
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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              • J. Lohr Cypress Merlot 2000 Front Label
                J. Lohr Cypress Merlot 2000
                Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                • Napa Ridge Merlot 2000
                  Merlot from California
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                  • Turning Leaf Coastal Reserve Merlot 2000 Front Label
                    Turning Leaf Coastal Reserve Merlot 2000
                    Merlot from California
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                    • Artesa Sonoma Merlot 2000 Front Label
                      Artesa Sonoma Merlot 2000
                      Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                      • Hawk Crest Merlot 2000
                        Merlot from California
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                        • Vinwood Merlot 2000 Front Label
                          Vinwood Merlot 2000
                          Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                          • Wild Horse Merlot (half-bottle) 2000
                            Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                            • Mirassou Family Selection Merlot 2000
                              Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                              • Rutherford Hill Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2000 Front Label
                                Rutherford Hill Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2000
                                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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                                • Gallo of Sonoma Merlot 2000 Front Label
                                  Gallo of Sonoma Merlot 2000
                                  Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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                                • Dom. St. George STG Alexander Valley Merlot 2000
                                  Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                                  • Blackstone California Merlot 2000
                                    Merlot from California
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                                    • Fetzer Eagle Peak Merlot 2000
                                      Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                                      • Camelot Merlot 2000 Front Label
                                        Camelot Merlot 2000
                                        Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                                        • Monterra Merlot 2000 Front Label
                                          Monterra Merlot 2000
                                          Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                                          • Blackstone Napa Merlot (half-bottle) 2000
                                            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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