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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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  • 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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  • 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
    Try the 2016 Vintage 43 99
    49 99
    49 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 $13.99
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      17
      13 99
      Save $3.01 (18%)
    • Pellegrini Merlot 2010 Front Label
      Pellegrini Merlot 2010
      Merlot from Sonoma County, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        19 99
        19 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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        • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2010 Front Label
          Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2010
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • WW91
          4.2 7 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $45.99
          Try the 2015 Vintage 67 99
          58
          45 99
          Save $12.01 (21%)
        • 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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        • Decoy Merlot 2010 Front Label
          Decoy Merlot 2010
          Merlot from Sonoma County, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $24.99
            Try the 2018 Vintage 20 99
            28 99
            24 99
            Save $4.00 (14%)
          • 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 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 $109.00
              Try the 2017 Vintage 99 99
              109
              109
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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
                Try the 2017 Vintage 19 99
                24
                16 99
                Save $7.01 (29%)
              • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2010 Front Label
                Pahlmeyer Merlot 2010
                Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                • RP92
                • WS91
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $109.00
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                109
                109
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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 $8.97
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                  11 99
                  8 97
                  Save $3.02 (25%)
                • 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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                  • 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
                    Try the 2017 Vintage 49 99
                    54
                    49 99
                    Save $4.01 (7%)
                  • Tin Roof Merlot 2010 Front Label
                    Tin Roof Merlot 2010
                    Merlot from California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                      14 99
                      14 99
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                    • Wilson Daniels Merlot 2010 Front Label
                      Wilson Daniels Merlot 2010
                      Merlot from Central Coast, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $8.99
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                        18
                        8 99
                        Save $9.01 (50%)
                      • 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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                          14
                          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
                            Try the 2017 Vintage 13 99
                            18
                            14 99
                            Save $3.01 (17%)
                          • Bogle Merlot 2010 Front Label
                            Bogle Merlot 2010
                            Merlot from California
                            • WS88
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $8.95
                            Try the 2017 Vintage 9 99
                            10
                            8 95
                            Save $1.05 (11%)
                          • 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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                            • ONEHOPE California Merlot 2010 Front Label
                              ONEHOPE California Merlot 2010
                              Merlot from California
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                                19
                                15 99
                                Save $3.01 (16%)
                              • Little Black Dress Merlot 2010 Front Label
                                Little Black Dress Merlot 2010
                                Merlot from California
                                  0.0 0 Ratings
                                  Currently Unavailable $12.99
                                  Try the 2017 Vintage 10 99
                                  12 99
                                  12 99
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