Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2005
The 2005 season began with a wet winter and spring; annual rainfall totals were well above average. We had an ideal fruit set, which produced an abundant number of full grape clusters. As a result, the vintage yielded exceptional fruit for the season. The harvest lasted over two months—into the early days of November. In many ways the 2005 season was reminiscent of 1997, where we had an abundant harvest of remarkable quality.
10% Cabernet Sauvignon
3% Cabernet Franc
1% Petit Verdot
"...this Merlot has a lot going for it. It's full-bodied and rich in black currant, cherry, chocolate, violet, licorice and smoky oak flavors, with dense, intricate tannins. Probably best now and through 2009, before it drops its fresh fruit."
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.