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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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22 Items
  • Buena Vista Merlot 2000
    Merlot from California
    • WE88
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  • Raymond Reserve Selection Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Raymond Reserve Selection Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE91
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  • Chalk Hill Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Chalk Hill Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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    • RP89
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  • Nickel & Nickel Harris Vineyard Merlot 2000  Front Label
    Nickel & Nickel Harris Vineyard Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • WE93
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  • Raymond Estates Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Raymond Estates Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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  • Beringer Founders' Estate Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Beringer Founders' Estate Merlot 2000
    Merlot from California
    • WE87
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  • Murphy-Goode Merlot (half-bottle) 2000 Front Label
    Murphy-Goode Merlot (half-bottle) 2000
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • WE90
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  • Gallo of Sonoma Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Gallo of Sonoma Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • WE86
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  • Newton Unfiltered Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Newton Unfiltered Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE91
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  • Ironstone Merlot (half-bottle) 2000 Front Label
    Ironstone Merlot (half-bottle) 2000
    Merlot from California
    • WE87
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  • Kunde Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • WE87
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  • Sterling Napa Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Sterling Napa Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS87
    • W&S87
    • WE86
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  • Murphy-Goode Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Murphy-Goode Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • WE90
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  • Newton Epic Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Newton Epic Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE93
    • RP90
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    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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  • Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2000
    Merlot from North Coast, California
    • WE92
    • WS91
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  • Flora Springs Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Flora Springs Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE91
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  • Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE92
    • WS92
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  • Ironstone Merlot 2000
    Merlot from California
    • WE87
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  • Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot Wind Whistle 2000 Front Label
    Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot Wind Whistle 2000
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • CG93
    • WE91
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    Currently Unavailable $89.97
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  • Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
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    Currently Unavailable $74.97
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  • Keenan Reserve Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Keenan Reserve Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WE93
    • W&S91
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  • Grand Archer Merlot 2000 Front Label
    Grand Archer Merlot 2000
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • WE86
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $7.77
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    15 99
    7 77
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