Had a blind tasting of two Merlot and two Syrah, one new world and one old world of each. For the Merlot,
2006 Beringer Vineyards Merlot Single Vineyard Bancroft Ranch (USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain) - $26
2003 Château Rol Valentin (France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru) - $33
My previous experience with Merlot was the $15 and under variety. I was blown away with these Merlots; I had no idea Merlot could taste like that. I could pick out the Beringer since it a bit ripper than the Valentin.
Based on this experience, I'll definitely be adding some Merlot, CA and Bordeaux, to the cellar.