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Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
To make a Merlot that could compete with the great Merlot-based wines of the right bank of Bordeaux, we began by sourcing fruit grown primarily in alluvial soils, those with high water drainage and little topsoil. This type of soil produces intense fruit that translates into aromatic and complex wines. Our Napa Valley Merlot is a blend of several individual vineyard lots. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and occasionally Petit Verdot make up the final blend. We keep each individual vineyard lot separate through the fermentation and barrel-aging process. After roughly 16 months in oak, the various lots are evaluated and blended, then put back in the barrel to marry for an additional two months. The bright fruit and forward nature of our Napa Valley Merlot pairs well with grilled meats and wild game, wild berry sauces, hearty pasta dishes and Pacific Northwest salmon.
Our Napa Valley Merlot is a complex and ageable expression of the varietal, highlighting the rich diversity of the Napa Valley appellation. A product of the exceptional 2007 growing season, this wine's hearty tannins and balanced acidity provide a textural framework for an enticing array of aromas and flavors that begin with notes of bright red cherry, plum, tobacco, vanilla and anise. On the palate, layers of fig, red currant, almond,
cedar and sweet spice are revealed, along with a subtle doughiness that lends to an appealing mouthfeel. The final wine has been blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and a touch of Petit Verdot to add nuance and depth.
89% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot
"As usual with Duckhorn's red wines, this Merlot is more tannic and acidic than most anything coming from Napa Valley. They're emphasizing structure over decadence. But that's not to say there aren't rich, elaborate berry, cherry, currant, chocolate and cedar flavors that provide bang for the buck. Very elegant and refined, this Merlot should be decanted before serving."
"This outstanding effort from a long-time champion of Merlot conveys all of the plush and outgoing black cherry fruit that marks the very best varietal bottlings. It is full and fleshy with just the right touch of structural grip, and it has real potential for growth even while being inviting now. It will satisfy in the short term with a juicy Porterhouse steak, but it is bound to get better and will gain in complexity for six to ten years."
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...Read More About Duckhorn
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...Read More About Napa Valley
No second fiddle
Merlot is coming back into its own. High popularity led to mass production, which then led to a backlash towards the variety (remember Miles in Sideways?). But passionate Merlot producers, and of course the right bank of Bordeaux, continued to produce quality versions of this grape. Merlot remains the principle grape of top chateaux in St...Read More About Merlot
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