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Duckhorn The Discussion 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • WE93
  • WS91
14.5% ABV
  • WW95
  • W&S92
  • WW93
  • JS92
  • WS91
  • WW95
  • W&S93
  • WE91
  • WW92
  • WE93
  • WE95
  • W&S94
  • WS93
  • WE96
  • WS93
  • CG91
  • W&S90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

As is always the case, we blended The Discussion using the very best barrels of wine from the finest blocks of our estate vineyards in 2008. These wines weren't chosen for their overt power—they were selected for their complexity and completeness, with the goal of creating a balanced and harmonious blend. While there is abundant, rich upfront fruit in the aromas and on the palate, what makes this wine so noteworthy is its layered sophistication. Throughout the drinking experience, elements of black currant, spicy plum, cherry cola and chocolate-covered raspberries evolve in the glass, mingling with appealing black licorice, ginger, all spice and coconut notes.

73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This is by far the most expensive of Duckhorn's new releases, but it's not the best to drink now. Based on Cabernet Sauvignon, it's easy to imagine the winemaker singling out the most tannic and concentrated lots, but what you get is, simply, a very tannic wine. There's a gigantic core of blackberry and black currant fruit, but it's hard to appreciate because of the astringency. The suggestion is longterm aging, but there can be no guarantees. Cellar Selection.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Slow to unfold, but does so gracefully, unveiling a tight core of dried currant, sage and herb flavors, with cedar and tobacco leaf. Shows excellent focus and structure. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2014 through 2026.
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Duckhorn

Duckhorn Vineyards

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Duckhorn Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
2008 The Discussion
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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. 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.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest 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 District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

RRM72156_2008 Item# 116053

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