About Napa Valley Merlot
What a beautiful cluster of Merlot grapes! Before the wine movie “Sideways” (2004) Merlot was extremely popular, especially among women. In the movie, the main character, Miles, slammed Merlot with his now famous line, “I am not drinking any F&#%!@?! Merlot!” Sales of Merlot fell dramatically following the movie. Now, ten years later, good Merlot is back and very popular again. Napa Valley Merlot can be bottled as a 100% varietal or blended with other Bordeaux varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with a small percentage of Merlot. In comparing Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with Napa Valley Merlot, there are several similarities, but in general Merlot is a softer and more gentle glass of wine. The photo of this Merlot cluster was shot in the Oakville AVA. Merlot is grown widely on the Valley floor and on hillsides on the east and west sides of the Napa Valley. Two Napa Valley Merlots that quickly come to mind are the Paloma Merlot made from Merlot vines on Spring Mountain and the Duckhorn Merlot. The Duckhorn winery is located just off the Silverado Trail on Lodi Lane near Calistoga. It has one of the most attractive and popular tasting rooms in the Napa Valley.