Duckhorn Estate Grown Merlot 2005
Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Our Estate Grown Merlot represents over 20 years of research and experience with Napa Valley Merlot. From our first vintage in 1978, we knew that we were in uncharted territory—one of a few who had seriously considered producing a varietal Merlot. Our estate vineyards are located in the best alluvial fans of the Napa Valley starting with the Selby Creek fan in the north, moving to Ritchie Creek in St. Helena, and finishing with the Rector Creek fan in Yountville. The shallow topsoil and high water drainage of the alluvial soils force the vine to send roots deep in search of water. The rocks retain the day's heat bringing relief to the vine during the cold spring mornings and foggy summer nights. The grapes remain small and the leaf canopy restrained. Our Estate Grown Merlot is produced from the finest fruit, and is the pride of our Merlot portfolio.
This full-bodied Merlot offers ripe, seductive flavors, well-integrated tannins and a sophisticated palate structure. The bouquet reveals layered aromatics of plum, vanilla bean and spice, as well as evocative notes of saddle leather, tobacco leaf and rich, moist earth. On the palate, these elements lead to rich blackberry, red cherry and mocha flavors, complemented by inviting notes of blueberry, loganberry and currant.
Wine Enthusiast - "Deeply impressive on every level, from the profound, inviting aromas of currants and fine oak to the mouthfeel, which is plush and important. Encased in a superb structure of acidity and firm tannins are ripe, complex flavors of currants, violets, olive tapenade and oatmeal raisin cookies. Completely dry, this beautiful wine should age well for six or more years."
Wine Spectator - "Rich, concentrated yet supple, with plush blackberry and mocha aromas and ripe yet tightly wound black currant, lead pencil and cedar flavors that finish with firm, dusty tannins."
Founded in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has been crafting Bordeaux varietals from the Napa Valley for over 30 years. This winemaking tradition has grown to include seven estate vineyards, located throughout the various microclimates of the Napa Valley. Focused on quality and consistency, these estate vineyards are an essential element in making wines of distinction. One of the first wineries to pioneer Merlot as a premium varietal, Duckhorn Vineyards now makes several elegant Merlot and distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings to showcase the characteristics of its vineyard sites. In addition, the winery is known for its acclaimed Sauvignon Blanc. Beginning with the 2006 vintage, Duckhorn Vineyards unveiled The Discussion, a Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend that represents the pinnacle of Duckhorn's portfolio. View all Duckhorn Vineyards Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.