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Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (3 Liter Bottle) 2006

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
  • WE92
  • CG90
  • RP90
0% ABV
  • WS92
  • WW92
  • CG91
  • WS90
  • WE91
  • WW91
  • TP91
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Winemaker Notes

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

The 2006 growing season was marked by a very mild summer with a mid-July heat spike that accelerated ripening. Mild temperatures continued throughout the fall allowing for a moderately paced harvest. The long growing season brought complex and intense flavor and aroma development.

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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Astringently tannic, as Duckhorn’s new red wines tend to be, but 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.
CG 90
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.
RP 90
Robert Parker's 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.
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Duckhorn

Duckhorn Vineyards

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Duckhorn Vineyards, , California
Duckhorn
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.

Ribera del Duero

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As a one of Spain’s leading regions, Ribera del Duero is an icon of growth and innovation whereas its brother, Rioja, represents tradition. While winemaking goes back 2,000 years, only in the 1980s did a small handful of—now iconic—wineries make the region’s potential known to the discerning consumer.

In 1982 a mere nine producers of Ribera del Duero grouped together to achieve the Denominación de Origen (D.O.) status. Ever since then the region has boomed and today over 300 wineries exist.

Bodegas vega sicilia is on the western edge of the denomination and has been producing one of Spain's finest wines since the mid 19th century. Other iconic producers include Pesquera and Dominio de Pingus.

Ribera’s main grape variety, Tempranillo, locally know as Tinto Fino, is perfectly suited to the extreme climate of the region, where it must survive scorching summers and frigid winters. Low yields resulting from conscientious tending to old vines planted in Ribera’s diverse soil types give Ribera wines a distinctive depth and complexity. Furthermore, the D.O. laws allow for blending of Tinto Fino with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, a concept introduced by Vega Sicilia 130 years ago. Ribera del Duero red wines have characteristics of dried fig and sweet tomato, cherry and plum with spices of cedar, clove, tobacco, dill, vanilla and leather. A bold structure and smoky aromas make them perfect with anything off the grill, roasted meats and aged cheeses.

Albillo is the white grape of the area and Garnacha produces the region’s rosé.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

DWCNAPAMERLOT3L_2006 Item# 102472

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