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Flat front label of wine

Duckhorn The Discussion 2007

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • WE95
  • W&S94
  • WS93
14.5% ABV
  • W&S93
  • WS90
  • WW95
  • W&S92
  • WW93
  • JS92
  • WS91
  • WW95
  • W&S93
  • WE91
  • WW92
  • WE93
  • WE93
  • WS91
  • WE96
  • WS93
  • CG91
  • W&S90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Refined aromas of mulberry, hazelnut, leather, cedar, tobacco and sweet spices give way to deep rich flavors of blueberry, black plum, cassis, clove and chocolate.

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot.

One of the guiding philosophies of our winery has always been the timeless union of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and that's also where The Discussion begins. In most vintages, you can develop additional complexity and nuance by adding other varietals. But there are those rare perfect vintages where the other varietals have nothing to add to the conversation, because it's all already there in the Cabernet and Merlot.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Duckhorn's new releases are so good, you might hesitate to make the investment on this Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend. True, it's not the most drinkable of their wines, at this time, but it easily is the most intense and concentrated. Dazzles with a molten core of sweet blackberries, blueberries and cassis, deep and long in the finish. Don't insult it by drinking before 2013, but you're better served by holding for far longer, even into the 2020s.
Cellar Selection
W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
A selection of three estate vineyards - Patzimaro at the base of Spring Mountain, Rector Creek in Yountville and Stout on Howell Mountain - this is 60 percent cabernet sauvignon blended with merlot and aged in new French oak barrels. The layers and detail those vineyard selections provide are apparent from teh moment the wine is opened, and continue to gain clarity over the course of several days. There's high-toned refinement to the cherry-plum flavor, brightened by scents of red raspberry and conifer. There's also a plump feel to the tannins as they broaden out, carrying the range of fruit flavors in several directions, one of the best wines we've tasted from Duckhorn.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Bordeaux-like in its complexity, range of flavor and structure, this taut red shows mineral-laced dried berry, plum jam, sage, cedar and tobacco flavors that are full-bodied and firm nicely on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2021.
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Duckhorn

Duckhorn Vineyards

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Duckhorn Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
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Co-founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has spent almost forty years establishing itself as one of North America’s premier producers of Napa Valley wines. From its modest inaugural vintage of 800 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and 800 cases of Merlot in 1978 to its addition of Sauvignon Blanc in 1982, Duckhorn Vineyards has crafted a tradition of quality and excellence that continues today. 

Fundamental to this tradition was the early, pioneering decision by Duckhorn Vineyards to focus on the production of Merlot. Though many Napa Valley wineries were using Merlot as a blending grape in the late seventies, few were exploring the potential of this varietal as a standalone wine. A great fan of Merlot since traveling to St. Emilion and Pomerol, Dan Duckhorn felt that this elegant varietal was underappreciated in North America. “I liked the softness, the seductiveness, the color,” says Dan, “the fact that it went with a lot of different foods; it wasn't so bold, didn't need to age so long, and it had this velvety texture to it. It seemed to me to be a wonderful wine to just enjoy. I became enchanted with Merlot.”

Dan also believed that the American palate was undergoing a gradual but dramatic shift, moving away from jug producers toward quality varietal wine. This conviction made the timing perfect for the introduction of Duckhorn Vineyards’ Napa Valley Merlot.

The quality of Duckhorn Vineyards wines has always been based on a commitment to selecting the finest fruit. Whether carefully sourcing grapes from top sites in the Napa Valley or committing itself to establishing a world-class estate vineyard program, the winery was built on the belief that great wines begin in the vineyard. At Duckhorn Vineyards this has always meant an emphasis on site and terroir. Beginning in 1988, hand-selected Napa Valley properties were purchased for the estate vineyard program, guaranteeing a consistent source of high quality fruit, year after year.

Today, the winery’s seven estate vineyards are located in alluvial fans of the Napa Valley and on the coveted slopes of Howell Mountain. The shallow and rocky alluvial soil drains easily, forcing the vines to send roots deep in search of water. The rocks retain the day’s heat, bringing relief to the vines during cold spring mornings and foggy summer nights. Because of its topography, soils, and climate, Howell Mountain has distinctly different grapegrowing conditions than the valley floor. Often during summer months, the maritime fog seeping into the Napa Valley below will not reach the mountaintop, giving more sunlight and moderate temperatures. As a result, winemaker Renee Ary has numerous vineyard blocks to choose from, each offering markedly different flavor profiles.

For nearly four decades, the commitment to crafting wines of distinction has remained at the heart of the Duckhorn Vineyards philosophy. As its Napa Valley estate properties continue to mature under Renee’s stewardship, the winery will continue creating world-class wines from exceptional vineyards. 

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

WBW30079168_2007 Item# 109195