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Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2008

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
  • WE92
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Winemaker Notes

86% Merlot, 9.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.5% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc.

Our Napa Valley Merlot is a complex blend of several individual vineyard lots, incorporating fruit from ourEstate Vineyards and from top independent growers throughout the Napa Valley. The final wine is a rich andcohesive expression of the entire Napa Valley, reflecting the varied microclimates and soils of this uniqueappellation.

The 2008 growing season has produced a particularly complex and complete expression of Napa ValleyMerlot, combining bright, lifted red fruit elements with darker, more extracted layers. This depth is on displayin the aromatics, where notes of Asian spice, red current, plum and blueberry crisp are supported by a subtlestreak of earthiness. The palate is both velvety and balanced, with flavors that echo the aromas. These flavorsare held together by granular tannins and accented by oak-inspired notes of molasses and nougat.

Critical Acclaim

WE 92
Wine Enthusiast

Shows the soft, mellow feeling a fine Merlot should possess, although it’s certainly tannic enough, in the Duckhorn style. However, the tannins are intricate and accessible, and frame lush cherry, red currant, licorice and cinnamon spice fl avors. Hard to resist now, and should hold over the next four years.

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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.

Known for bold reds, crisp whites, and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place the primary emphasis upon its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally warm to hot. In the center of the country lies a vast, dry plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought. Because of its location on the Iberian Peninsula, many of Spain’s wine regions are located on or near the milder coast, either of the Bay of Biscay to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the northwest, or the Mediterranean sea to the south and east. Each of these regions has its own unique soil, climate, and topography, as well as principal grape varieties.

In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate, though elsewhere the most popular wines are generally red. Rioja is Spain’s best-known region, where earthy, age-worthy reds are made from Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache), as well as rich, nutty whites from Viura. Ribera del Duero produces opulent, fruity, top-quality wines from almost exclusively Tempranillo. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, blends Garnacha with Cariñena (Carignan) to make bold, full-bodied wines with a hint of earthiness. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. Sherry, Spain’s famous fortified wine, is produced in a wide range of styles from dry to lusciously sweet at the country’s southern tip in Jerez. Since the 1990s, international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc have been steadily increasing in importance in several regions.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

DWC108750_2008 Item# 108074

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