Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2004
This is a well-balanced wine with medium weight, beautiful texture, bright acid, and integrated,supple tannins. The aroma is elegant, with elements of earth, black cherry, vanilla and clove,accompanied by a slightly meaty character. On the palate, the wine is layered with rich fruit flavors,most notably blueberry, blackberry, and plum, and accented by subtle notes of lavender and sage.
"There's a beautiful Merlot in here but you're going to have to paddle against the powerful tannins to find it. It brings to mind the old Duckhorn Three Palms Merlots, which were similarly tough and tannic in youth, but aged well. This wine is ripe in chocolate, blackberry, cassis, coconut macaroon and plum sauce flavors, but needs four or five years to begin to come around."
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.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.