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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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  • Ravenswood Vintners Blend Merlot 2006 Front Label
    Ravenswood Vintners Blend Merlot 2006
    Merlot from California
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $7.99
      Try the 2017 Vintage 9 99
      7 99
      7 99
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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
      Currently Unavailable $79.97
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      79 97
      79 97
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    • Turnbull Merlot 2006 Front Label
      Turnbull Merlot 2006
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $23.99
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        29 99
        23 99
        Save $6.00 (20%)
      • Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Merlot 2006 Front Label
        Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Merlot 2006
        Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $44.97
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          44 97
          44 97
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        • Hayman & Hill Napa Valley Merlot 2006 Front Label
          Hayman & Hill Napa Valley Merlot 2006
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
            3.5 11 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $10.79
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            15
            10 79
            Save $4.21 (28%)
          • Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates Taylor Peak Merlot 2006 Front Label
            Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates Taylor Peak Merlot 2006
            Merlot from Sonoma County, California
            • WE92
            • RP90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $25.99
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            50
            25 99
            Save $24.01 (48%)
          • Duckhorn Estate Grown Merlot 2006 Front Label
            Duckhorn Estate Grown Merlot 2006
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
            • WE94
            • W&S90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $79.99
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            85
            79 99
            Save $5.01 (6%)
          • Stags' Leap Winery Merlot 2006 Front Label
            Stags' Leap Winery Merlot 2006
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $34.99
              Try the 2016 Vintage 32 99
              34 99
              34 99
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            • Vendange Merlot 2006 Front Label
              Vendange Merlot 2006
              Merlot from California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $5.99
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                7 99
                5 99
                Save $2.00 (25%)
              • Darioush Signature Merlot 2006 Front Label
                Darioush Signature Merlot 2006
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $54.97
                  Try the 2016 Vintage 49 99
                  54 97
                  54 97
                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                • 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
                  Currently Unavailable $184.97
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                  184 97
                  184 97
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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
                    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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                    50
                    34 99
                    Save $15.01 (30%)
                  • Wente Sandstone Merlot 2006 Front Label
                    Wente Sandstone Merlot 2006
                    Merlot from Central Coast, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $13.99
                      Try the 2017 Vintage 13 99
                      13 99
                      13 99
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                    • Parducci Merlot 2006 Front Label
                      Parducci Merlot 2006
                      Merlot from North Coast, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $10.29
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                        12 99
                        10 28
                        Save $2.70 (21%)
                      • Lyeth L de Lyeth Merlot 2006 Front Label
                        Lyeth L de Lyeth Merlot 2006
                        Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $11.79
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                          11 79
                          11 79
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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
                          Currently Unavailable $34.99
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                          34 99
                          34 99
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                        • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2006 Front Label
                          Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2006
                          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                            3.8 8 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $39.99
                            Try the 2015 Vintage 67 99
                            50
                            39 99
                            Save $10.01 (20%)
                          • Stone Cellars Merlot 2006 Front Label
                            Stone Cellars Merlot 2006
                            Merlot from California
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $6.95
                              Try the 2015 Vintage 6 99
                              10
                              6 95
                              Save $3.05 (31%)
                            • Fog Mountain Merlot (PET bottle) 2006 Front Label
                              Fog Mountain Merlot (PET bottle) 2006
                              Merlot from California
                                2.8 6 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                                11 99
                                11 99
                                Save $0.00 (0%)
                              • 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
                                Currently Unavailable $16.95
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                                20
                                16 95
                                Save $3.05 (15%)
                              • Robert Mondavi Private Selection Merlot 2006 Front Label
                                Robert Mondavi Private Selection Merlot 2006
                                Merlot from Central Coast, California
                                  0.0 0 Ratings
                                  Currently Unavailable $12.29
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                                  13 79
                                  12 28
                                  Save $1.50 (11%)
                                • 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
                                  Currently Unavailable $15.79
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                                  15 79
                                  15 79
                                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                                • Wente Merlot 2006
                                  Merlot from Central Coast, California
                                    0.0 0 Ratings
                                    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
                                    Currently Unavailable $8.99
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                                    21
                                    8 99
                                    Save $12.01 (57%)
                                  • Camelot Merlot 2006 Front Label
                                    Camelot Merlot 2006
                                    Merlot from Central Coast, California
                                      0.0 0 Ratings
                                      Currently Unavailable $9.29
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                                      9 28
                                      9 28
                                      Save $0.00 (0%)
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