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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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  • Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2010 Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • TP95
    • WW92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    49 99
    49 99
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  • Hourglass Blueline Vineyard Merlot 2010 Front Label
    Hourglass Blueline Vineyard Merlot 2010
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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    74 99
    74 99
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  • Mirassou Merlot 2010 Front Label
    Mirassou Merlot 2010
    Merlot from California
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $10.99
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      10 99
      10 99
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    • Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2010 Front Label
      Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2010
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • RP93
      • WE91
      • WS90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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      49 99
      49 99
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    • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2010 Front Label
      Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2010
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • RP90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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      54
      49 99
      Save $4.01 (7%)
    • Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot 2010 Front Label
      Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot 2010
      Merlot from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
      • WE94
      • RP92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $89.00
      Try the 2018 Vintage 114 99
      89
      89
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    • Keenan Napa Valley Merlot 2010 Front Label
      Keenan Napa Valley Merlot 2010
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      • RP92
      • W&S91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $44.99
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      44 99
      44 99
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    • Pellegrini Merlot 2010 Front Label
      Pellegrini Merlot 2010
      Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        19 99
        19 99
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      • Buena Vista Sonoma Merlot 2010 Front Label
        Buena Vista Sonoma Merlot 2010
        Merlot from Carneros, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $15.99
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          15 99
          15 99
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        • Westerly Merlot 2010 Front Label
          Westerly Merlot 2010
          Merlot from Central Coast, California
          • WE92
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $36.99
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          36 99
          36 99
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        • DeLoach Heritage Reserve Merlot 2010 Front Label
          DeLoach Heritage Reserve Merlot 2010
          Merlot from Sonoma County, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $10.29
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            11 99
            10 28
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          • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2010 Front Label
            Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2010
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
            • WW91
            4.3 8 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $49.99
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            58
            49 99
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          • BV Century Cellars Merlot 2010 Front Label
            BV Century Cellars Merlot 2010
            Merlot from California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $8.99
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              8 99
              8 99
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            • Duckhorn Rector Creek Vineyard Merlot 2010 Front Label
              Duckhorn Rector Creek Vineyard Merlot 2010
              Merlot from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
              • WE93
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $89.00
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              89
              89
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            • Gainey Merlot 2010 Front Label
              Gainey Merlot 2010
              Merlot from Central Coast, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                24
                16 99
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              • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2010 Front Label
                Pahlmeyer Merlot 2010
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                • RP92
                • WS91
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $89.00
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                89
                89
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              • Frog's Leap Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010 Front Label
                Frog's Leap Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010
                Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
                • W&S93
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $76.00
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                76
                76
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              • Lava Cap Reserve Merlot 2010 Front Label
                Lava Cap Reserve Merlot 2010
                Merlot from El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                  23 99
                  23 99
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                • Wilson Daniels Merlot 2010 Front Label
                  Wilson Daniels Merlot 2010
                  Merlot from Central Coast, California
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                    Currently Unavailable $8.99
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                    18
                    8 99
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                  • Parducci Small Lot Blend Merlot 2010 Front Label
                    Parducci Small Lot Blend Merlot 2010
                    Merlot from North Coast, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                      13
                      10 99
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                    • Wente Sandstone Merlot 2010 Front Label
                      Wente Sandstone Merlot 2010
                      Merlot from Central Coast, California
                        4.0 5 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                        18
                        14 99
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                      • Tin Roof Merlot 2010 Front Label
                        Tin Roof Merlot 2010
                        Merlot from California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $8.99
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                          9 99
                          8 99
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                        • Bogle Merlot 2010 Front Label
                          Bogle Merlot 2010
                          Merlot from California
                          • WS88
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                          10 99
                          10 99
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                        • Lyeth L de Lyeth Merlot 2010 Front Label
                          Lyeth L de Lyeth Merlot 2010
                          Merlot from Sonoma County, California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                            14 99
                            14 99
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                          • Folie a Deux Merlot 2010 Front Label
                            Folie a Deux Merlot 2010
                            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $19.99
                              Try the 2017 Vintage 19 99
                              19 99
                              19 99
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