Duckhorn Napa Merlot 2006
Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Our Napa Valley Merlot is a complex blend of several individual vineyard lots, incorporating fruit from our Estate Vineyards and from top independent growers throughout the Napa Valley. The final wine is a rich and cohesive expression of the entire Napa Valley, reflecting the varied microclimates and soils of this unique appellation.
Our Napa Valley Merlot captures the balanced character of a young wine, while embodying the diversity of the entire Napa Valley appellation. The product of a standout Merlot vintage, the Merlot in 2006 offered an excellent expression of the varietal and required very little blending with other grapes—with only small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot used to add subtle complexity. This Merlot offers a rich texture, ripe tannins and seamlessly integrated French oak. The bouquet displays lush layers of ripe plum and bright raspberry underscored by notes of sandalwood, walnut and spice. On the palate, polished flavors of red cherry and raspberry are accented by an enticing layer of graham cracker piecrust.
96% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com - "Black-garnet hue. Lovely mixed aromas of blueberry, raspberry and kirsch. A rush of black cherry fruit on entry laced with flinty mineral accents and fine-grain, youthful tannins. Creamy fruit marks the finish. Taut in structure and cellar-worthy. A prime example of power and finesse: classic Napa fruit, true to its varietal character, crafted into a memorable, prototype Merlot."
Wine Enthusiast - "... very rich, very ripe, and sweet enough in fruit and oak to drink now with a nice steak. Floods the mouth with blackberries, cassis, chocolate, violets, mushu plum sauce, licorice and cedar. Best now through 2012."
The Wine Advocate - "Deep garnet-purple colour. Warm plum and blackberry aromas on the nose with a touch of dark chocolate, cloves and vanilla. Full body, medium to high acid and lots of blackberry and spice flavour. Soft to medium level of velvety tannins. Long finish going a bit earthy. Tasted July 2009."
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Duckhorn grabs the brass ring again with this ripe and luscious effort whose classic sweet cherry aromas are laced with complex notes of cassis and creamy oak. On the palate, the wine is silky, supple and balanced and is nicely packed with bright red cherry fruit. Full in body but never heavy in any regard and noticeably tannic without being hard, this one is drinkable now yet can be cellared for three to five years. "
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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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review4.5 }div>4.4 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 2
- 4 Stars: 3
- 3 Stars: 0
- 2 Stars: 0
- 1 Stars: 0
5 ratings, 5 with reviews56/6/2009Love it! Very smoothRoni Ramirez - Burbank, CA46/4/2009I''m no wine connoisseur but I am picky about my red wine. If I'm going to drink a glass, I want it to taste good. This one hits the pallet perfectly.guapitomark - Laguna Niguel, CA412/8/2009I've seen the good ratings on this Merlot and wanted to see what all the fuss was about! I brought this wine to a friend's place for Thanksgiving. She was nice enough to open it for both of us to taste. This Merlot is supple and packs cherry fruit flavor and has a lengthy finish. A truly enjoyable wine. At $50, it isn't cheap, but it's worth every penny. I'm just glad I got two bottles - looking forward to opening the second one soon!53/15/2010Just sampled this wine at a store in Tampa. Excellent, but it was a new bottle and didn't have enough time to breathe. It is smooth though and I kept going back to it. Wouldn't mind trying something close to it, but at about half the price!Steve Baker - Kewadin, MI48/12/2009Rich, full bodied, nice finish, very smooth...one of the nicer Merlots at a very reasonable price.
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.
- 5 Stars: