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
212 Items
212 Items
Gift Type
Occasion
Variety
Rating & Price
Rating All
Price All
212 Items
  • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2002  Front Label
    Pahlmeyer Merlot 2002
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $104.97
    Try the
    104 97
    104 97
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Del Dotto Merlot 2002  Front Label
    Del Dotto Merlot 2002
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $44.97
      Try the
      44 97
      44 97
      Save $0.00 (0%)
    • Chateau St. Jean Merlot 2002 Front Label
      Chateau St. Jean Merlot 2002
      Merlot from Sonoma County, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $22.99
        Try the
        22 99
        22 99
        Save $0.00 (0%)
      • Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Merlot 2002 Front Label
        Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Merlot 2002
        Merlot from Sonoma County, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $24.99
          Try the
          24 99
          24 99
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2002 Front Bottle Shot
          Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2002
          Merlot from North Coast, California
          • WS93
          • WE93
          • W&S93
          • RP90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $59.99
          Try the
          59 99
          59 99
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Rutherford Hill Merlot 2002 Front Label
          Rutherford Hill Merlot 2002
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $25.99
            Try the
            25 99
            25 99
            Save $0.00 (0%)
          • Echelon Merlot (1.5 Liter) 2002 Front Label
            Echelon Merlot (1.5 Liter) 2002
            Merlot from Central Coast, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $24.99
              Try the
              44 99
              24 99
              Save $20.00 (44%)
            • Atalon Merlot 2002 Front Label
              Atalon Merlot 2002
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              • RP89
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $28.99
              Try the
              28 99
              28 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • St. Clement Merlot 2002 Front Label
              St. Clement Merlot 2002
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $22.99
                Try the
                22 99
                22 99
                Save $0.00 (0%)
              • Dog House Maxie's Merlot 2002 Front Label
                Dog House Maxie's Merlot 2002
                Merlot from California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $10.99
                  Try the
                  10 99
                  10 99
                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                • Fisher Vineyards RCF Vineyard Merlot 2002 Front Label
                  Fisher Vineyards RCF Vineyard Merlot 2002
                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $69.97
                    Try the
                    69 97
                    69 97
                    Save $0.00 (0%)
                  • J. Garcia Merlot 2002 Front Label
                    J. Garcia Merlot 2002
                    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $21.99
                      Try the
                      21 99
                      21 99
                      Save $0.00 (0%)
                    • Echelon Merlot 2002 Front Label
                      Echelon Merlot 2002
                      Merlot from Central Coast, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $10.29
                        Try the
                        12 28
                        10 28
                        Save $2.00 (16%)
                      • Rodney Strong Sonoma Merlot 2002 Front Label
                        Rodney Strong Sonoma Merlot 2002
                        Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                        • WE87
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $19.99
                        Try the 2017 Vintage 18 99
                        19 99
                        19 99
                        Save $0.00 (0%)
                      • Ray's Station Alexander Valley Merlot 2002 Front Label
                        Ray's Station Alexander Valley Merlot 2002
                        Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $17.79
                          Try the
                          17 79
                          17 79
                          Save $0.00 (0%)
                        • Flora Springs Estate Merlot 2002 Front Label
                          Flora Springs Estate Merlot 2002
                          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $23.99
                            Try the
                            23 99
                            23 99
                            Save $0.00 (0%)
                          • Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Merlot 2002 Front Label
                            Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Merlot 2002
                            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                            • WE92
                            • WS91
                            4.0 5 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $41.97
                            Try the
                            41 97
                            41 97
                            Save $0.00 (0%)
                          • Leaping Horse Merlot 2002 Front Label
                            Leaping Horse Merlot 2002
                            Merlot from California
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $7.99
                              Try the
                              10 99
                              7 99
                              Save $3.00 (27%)
                            • Sterling Reserve Merlot 2002 Front Label
                              Sterling Reserve Merlot 2002
                              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $44.99
                                Try the
                                44 99
                                44 99
                                Save $0.00 (0%)
                              • Clos du Bois Merlot 2002 Front Label
                                Clos du Bois Merlot 2002
                                Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                                  0.0 0 Ratings
                                  Currently Unavailable $16.99
                                  Try the
                                  16 99
                                  16 99
                                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                                • Paul Hobbs Michael Black Vineyard Merlot 2002  Front Label
                                  Paul Hobbs Michael Black Vineyard Merlot 2002
                                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                  • WS93
                                  • RP93
                                  0.0 0 Ratings
                                  Currently Unavailable $79.97
                                  Try the
                                  79 97
                                  79 97
                                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                                • Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2002 Front Label
                                  Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2002
                                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                  • WE94
                                  • WS93
                                  0.0 0 Ratings
                                  Currently Unavailable $79.97
                                  Try the
                                  79 97
                                  79 97
                                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                                • Blackstone Napa Merlot (half-bottle) 2002 Front Label
                                  Blackstone Napa Merlot (half-bottle) 2002
                                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                    0.0 0 Ratings
                                    Currently Unavailable $11.99
                                    Try the
                                    11 99
                                    11 99
                                    Save $0.00 (0%)
                                  • Etude Napa Valley Merlot 2002 Front Label
                                    Etude Napa Valley Merlot 2002
                                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                      0.0 0 Ratings
                                      Currently Unavailable $39.99
                                      Try the
                                      39 99
                                      39 99
                                      Save $0.00 (0%)
                                    • Papio wines Merlot 2002 Front Label
                                      Papio wines Merlot 2002
                                      Merlot from California
                                        0.0 0 Ratings
                                        Currently Unavailable $9.99
                                        Try the
                                        9 99
                                        9 99
                                        Save $0.00 (0%)
                                      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
                                      Cheers to You!

                                      New Customers! Save $20 off $100*. Code NEW2021

                                      New Customers! Save $20 off $100*. Code NEW2021

                                      There was an error redeeming your code.

                                      *New customers only. One-time use per customer. Order must be placed by 5/31/2021. The $20 discount is given for a single order with a minimum of $100 excluding shipping and tax. Items with pricing ending in .97 are excluded and will not count toward the minimum required. Discount does not apply to corporate orders, gift certificates, StewardShip membership fees, select Champagne brands, Riedel glassware, fine and rare wine, 187ML splits, Picked by Wine.com subscriptions, and all bottles 3.0 liters or larger. No other promotion codes, coupon codes or corporate discounts may be applied to order. Offer valid subject to state law limitations.

                                      Search for ""

                                      $20 off your first Picked box. Code 20PICK

                                      $20 off your first box. Code 20PICK

                                      There was an error redeeming your code.

                                      *Subscription must have occurred in the past. See Picked ToS for information about Picked

                                      Processing Your Order...