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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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  • Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2006 Front Label
    Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2006
    Merlot from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    59 99
    59 99
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  • Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2006 Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2006
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • CG89
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
    Try the 2018 Vintage 42 99
    42
    29 99
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  • Ravenswood Vintners Blend Merlot 2006 Front Label
    Ravenswood Vintners Blend Merlot 2006
    Merlot from California
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $7.99
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      7 99
      7 99
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    • Stags' Leap Winery Merlot 2006 Front Label
      Stags' Leap Winery Merlot 2006
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $34.99
        Try the 2019 Vintage 34 99
        34 99
        34 99
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      • Turnbull Merlot 2006 Front Label
        Turnbull Merlot 2006
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $34.99
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          34 99
          34 99
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        • Chalk Hill Merlot 2006 Front Label
          Chalk Hill Merlot 2006
          Merlot from Sonoma County, California
          • WE92
          0.0 0 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $38.99
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          53 99
          38 99
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        • Duckhorn Estate Grown Merlot 2006 Front Label
          Duckhorn Estate Grown Merlot 2006
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • WE94
          • W&S90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $79.99
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          85
          79 99
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        • Vendange Merlot 2006 Front Label
          Vendange Merlot 2006
          Merlot from California
            0.0 0 Ratings
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            Currently Unavailable $7.99
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            7 99
            7 99
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          • Brass Tacks Merlot 2006 Front Label
            Brass Tacks Merlot 2006
            Merlot from Central Coast, California
              4.9 7 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $19.99
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              19 99
              19 99
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            • Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2006 Front Label
              Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2006
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
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                Currently Unavailable $34.99
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                50
                34 99
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              • Parducci Merlot 2006 Front Label
                Parducci Merlot 2006
                Merlot from North Coast, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
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                  Currently Unavailable $10.29
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                  12 99
                  10 29
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                • Lyeth L de Lyeth Merlot 2006 Front Label
                  Lyeth L de Lyeth Merlot 2006
                  Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Regular price
                    Currently Unavailable $11.79
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                    11 79
                    11 79
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                  • Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2006 Front Label
                    Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve 2006
                    Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
                    • RP96
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Regular price
                    Currently Unavailable $184.97
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                    184 97
                    184 97
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                  • Swanson Oakville Merlot 2006 Front Label
                    Swanson Oakville Merlot 2006
                    Merlot from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                    • CG90
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Regular price
                    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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                    34 99
                    34 99
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                  • Wente Sandstone Merlot 2006 Front Label
                    Wente Sandstone Merlot 2006
                    Merlot from Central Coast, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Regular price
                      Currently Unavailable $16.29
                      Try the 2020 Vintage 17 99
                      16 29
                      16 29
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                    • Darioush Signature Merlot 2006 Front Label
                      Darioush Signature Merlot 2006
                      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Regular price
                        Currently Unavailable $54.97
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                        54 97
                        54 97
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                      • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2006 Front Label
                        Twomey Merlot 2006
                        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                          3.8 8 Ratings
                          Regular price
                          Currently Unavailable $44.99
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                          50
                          44 99
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                        • Stone Cellars Merlot 2006 Front Label
                          Stone Cellars Merlot 2006
                          Merlot from California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Regular price
                            Currently Unavailable $7.99
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                            7 99
                            7 99
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                          • Fog Mountain Merlot (PET bottle) 2006 Front Label
                            Fog Mountain Merlot (PET bottle) 2006
                            Merlot from California
                              2.8 6 Ratings
                              Regular price
                              Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                              11 99
                              11 99
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                            • Robert Mondavi Private Selection Merlot 2006 Front Label
                              Robert Mondavi Private Selection Merlot 2006
                              Merlot from Central Coast, California
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Regular price
                                Currently Unavailable $13.79
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                                13 79
                                13 79
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                              • Swanson Oakville Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2006 Front Label
                                Swanson Oakville Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2006
                                Merlot from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                                • CG90
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Regular price
                                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                                19 99
                                19 99
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                              • Camelot Merlot 2006 Front Label
                                Camelot Merlot 2006
                                Merlot from Central Coast, California
                                  0.0 0 Ratings
                                  Regular price
                                  Currently Unavailable $9.29
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                                  9 29
                                  9 29
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                                • Wente Merlot 2006
                                  Merlot from Central Coast, California
                                    0.0 0 Ratings
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                                    Currently Unavailable $12.79
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                                    12 79
                                    12 79
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                                  • Buena Vista Carneros Merlot 2006 Front Label
                                    Buena Vista Carneros Merlot 2006
                                    Merlot from Carneros, California
                                    • CG88
                                    0.0 0 Ratings
                                    Regular price
                                    Currently Unavailable $17.29
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                                    21
                                    17 29
                                    Save $3.71 (18%)
                                  • Whitehall Lane Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2006 Front Label
                                    Whitehall Lane Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2006
                                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                    • WE92
                                    0.0 0 Ratings
                                    Regular price
                                    Currently Unavailable $15.79
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                                    15 79
                                    15 79
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