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Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2007

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
  • WE92
  • CG92
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Winemaker Notes

To make a Merlot that could compete with the great Merlot-based wines of the right bank of Bordeaux, we began by sourcing fruit grown primarily in alluvial soils, those with high water drainage and little topsoil. This type of soil produces intense fruit that translates into aromatic and complex wines. Our Napa Valley Merlot is a blend of several individual vineyard lots. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and occasionally Petit Verdot make up the final blend. We keep each individual vineyard lot separate through the fermentation and barrel-aging process. After roughly 16 months in oak, the various lots are evaluated and blended, then put back in the barrel to marry for an additional two months. The bright fruit and forward nature of our Napa Valley Merlot pairs well with grilled meats and wild game, wild berry sauces, hearty pasta dishes and Pacific Northwest salmon.

Our Napa Valley Merlot is a complex and ageable expression of the varietal, highlighting the rich diversity of the Napa Valley appellation. A product of the exceptional 2007 growing season, this wine's hearty tannins and balanced acidity provide a textural framework for an enticing array of aromas and flavors that begin with notes of bright red cherry, plum, tobacco, vanilla and anise. On the palate, layers of fig, red currant, almond,cedar and sweet spice are revealed, along with a subtle doughiness that lends to an appealing mouthfeel. The final wine has been blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and a touch of Petit Verdot to add nuance and depth.

89% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

WE 92
Wine Enthusiast

As usual with Duckhorn's red wines, this Merlot is more tannic and acidic than most anything coming from Napa Valley. They're emphasizing structure over decadence. But that's not to say there aren't rich, elaborate berry, cherry, currant, chocolate and cedar flavors that provide bang for the buck. Very elegant and refined, this Merlot should be decanted before serving.

CG 92
Connoisseurs' Guide

This outstanding effort from a long-time champion of Merlot conveys all of the plush and outgoing black cherry fruit that marks the very best varietal bottlings. It is full and fleshy with just the right touch of structural grip, and it has real potential for growth even while being inviting now. It will satisfy in the short term with a juicy Porterhouse steak, but it is bound to get better and will gain in complexity for six to ten 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.

Portugal

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Best known for flavorful fortified wines but also producing excellent dry wines, Portugal is unique in that it relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to the west on the Iberian Peninsula, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, perhaps due in part to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. Portugal is a long and narrow country, which makes for considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast. With the exception of Port, most Portuguese wines have struggled to garner attention in the international marketplace, perhaps due to the unfamiliar and difficult to pronounce nature of most of its grape varieties and terminology, which means that there are many excellent values to be discovered here by the adventurous consumer. The country is perhaps better known for being the world’s leader in cork production than for its wine.

Port, made in the Douro Valley, is the fortified wine for which Portugal is most famous. The same region also produces full-bodied dry wines made from the same set of grape varieties, which include Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo). The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast. Other dry wines of the mainland include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde of the north, the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão, and the bold, jammy reds of the Alentejo.

MAKDUCKHALF_2007 Item# 105264

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