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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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  • Tangley Oaks Merlot 2007 Front Label
    Tangley Oaks Merlot 2007
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $15.29
      Try the 2015 Vintage 17 99
      15 28
      15 28
      Save $0.00 (0%)
    • Tin Roof Merlot 2007 Front Label
      Tin Roof Merlot 2007
      Merlot from California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $8.97
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        11 49
        8 97
        Save $2.52 (22%)
      • Clos du Bois Alexander Valley Reserve Merlot 2007 Front Label
        Clos du Bois Alexander Valley Reserve Merlot 2007
        Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $19.99
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          23
          19 99
          Save $3.01 (13%)
        • Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2007 Front Label
          Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2007
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $79.99
            Try the 2016 Vintage 43 99
            79 99
            79 99
            Save $0.00 (0%)
          • Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates Taylor Peak Merlot 2007 Front Label
            Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates Taylor Peak Merlot 2007
            Merlot from Sonoma County, California
            • WE90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $35.99
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            41
            35 99
            Save $5.01 (12%)
          • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2007 Front Label
            Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2007
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $49.99
              Try the 2015 Vintage 67 99
              49 99
              49 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • Whitehall Lane Merlot 2007 Front Label
              Whitehall Lane Merlot 2007
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              • WS90
              • WE90
              4.2 9 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $24.99
              Try the 2016 Vintage 27 99
              28
              24 99
              Save $3.01 (11%)
            • Whitehall Lane Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2007 Front Label
              Whitehall Lane Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2007
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              • WS90
              • WE90
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $23.99
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              29 99
              23 99
              Save $6.00 (20%)
            • Mirassou Merlot 2007 Front Label
              Mirassou Merlot 2007
              Merlot from California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $12.49
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                15 28
                12 49
                Save $2.80 (18%)
              • St. Francis Merlot 2007 Front Label
                St. Francis Merlot 2007
                Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                  4.0 6 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $19.99
                  Try the 2017 Vintage 21 99
                  19 99
                  19 99
                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2007 Front Label
                  Pahlmeyer Merlot 2007
                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                  • RP96
                  • WS94
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $109.97
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                  109 97
                  109 97
                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                • Raymond Reserve Selection Merlot 2007 Front Label
                  Raymond Reserve Selection Merlot 2007
                  Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                  • WE87
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                  21 99
                  17 99
                  Save $4.00 (18%)
                • Frei Brothers Reserve Merlot 2007 Front Label
                  Frei Brothers Reserve Merlot 2007
                  Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                  • RP88
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $16.97
                  Try the 2018 Vintage 17 99
                  21 99
                  16 97
                  Save $5.02 (23%)
                • Cupcake Vineyards Merlot 2007 Front Label
                  Cupcake Vineyards Merlot 2007
                  Merlot from Central Coast, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $12.99
                    Try the 2017 Vintage 11 99
                    12 99
                    12 99
                    Save $0.00 (0%)
                  • Houdini Oakville Merlot 2007 Front Label
                    Houdini Oakville Merlot 2007
                    Merlot from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                    • WE90
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                    30
                    22 99
                    Save $7.01 (23%)
                  • Montevina Merlot 2007 Front Label
                    Montevina Merlot 2007
                    Merlot from California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $8.99
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                      14
                      8 99
                      Save $5.01 (36%)
                    • Wente Sandstone Merlot 2007 Front Label
                      Wente Sandstone Merlot 2007
                      Merlot from Central Coast, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $14.99
                        Try the 2017 Vintage 13 99
                        14 99
                        14 99
                        Save $0.00 (0%)
                      • Raymond R Collection Merlot 2007 Front Label
                        Raymond R Collection Merlot 2007
                        Merlot from California
                        • WE87
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $11.95
                        Try the 2018 Vintage 11 99
                        15
                        11 95
                        Save $3.05 (20%)
                      • Monthaven Winery Merlot (3 Liter Octavin Home Wine Bar) 2007 Front Label
                        Monthaven Winery Merlot (3 Liter Octavin Home Wine Bar) 2007
                        Merlot from Central Coast, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                          23 99
                          23 99
                          Save $0.00 (0%)
                        • Blackstone Sonoma Reserve Merlot 2007 Front Label
                          Blackstone Sonoma Reserve Merlot 2007
                          Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                          • W&S91
                          3.4 15 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $21.99
                          Try the
                          21 99
                          21 99
                          Save $0.00 (0%)
                        • Castle Rock Napa Merlot 2007 Front Label
                          Castle Rock Napa Merlot 2007
                          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                            13 99
                            13 99
                            Save $0.00 (0%)
                          • Hayman & Hill Napa Valley Merlot 2007 Front Label
                            Hayman & Hill Napa Valley Merlot 2007
                            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $10.79
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                              14 99
                              10 79
                              Save $4.20 (28%)
                            • Beringer Napa Valley Merlot 2007 Front Label
                              Beringer Napa Valley Merlot 2007
                              Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                              • WS90
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                              19 99
                              19 99
                              Save $0.00 (0%)
                            • Swanson Oakville Merlot 2007 Front Label
                              Swanson Oakville Merlot 2007
                              Merlot from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                              • WE94
                              3.6 11 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $29.99
                              Try the
                              36
                              29 99
                              Save $6.01 (17%)
                            • Luna Vineyards Merlot 2007 Front Label
                              Luna Vineyards Merlot 2007
                              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $19.99
                                Try the
                                24 99
                                19 99
                                Save $5.00 (20%)
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