Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2016
A classic expression of Napa Valley Merlot, with a fleshy entry and juicy layers of Bing cherry, raspberry, and plum, along with hints of blueberry, cedar, vanilla, and clove. Underscored by polished tannins, the juiciness of the entry evolves into a lush, silky texture that carries the flavors to a long, generous finish marked by notes of freshly ground coffee beans with a splash of ripe, red cherry.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Blended with 22% Cabernet Sauvignon and tiny percentages of Malbec and Petit Verdot, this is a hearty take on the variety. Full-bodied flavors of black currant and dried herb meld with firm tannins and oak. Textured, richly layered and appealing, it finishes on acents of tobacco and clove.
22% Cabernet Sauvignon; 1% other. A bit of sweet oak and subtle touches of toasted herbs sit off to the side of the juicy cherries and ripe plums that are the central message of this very solid, moderately full-bodied Merlot, and the wine gets equally good marks for both its structure and very sure varietal focus. It is nominally tannic without erring to toughness and shows fine fruity length, and it is bound to be bettered by even a short stay in the cellar with the balance and build to steadily improve for another three to five years.
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.