(From 2011 Vintage) The cooler 2011 vintage yielded an aromatic Merlot with vibrant red fruit layers of Rainier cherry and spiced plum, as well as notes of licorice, tobacco leaf, cardamom and thyme. Hints of cedar, leather and savory spice from aging in French oak barrels contribute depth and nuance, while a streak of uplifting acidity adds dimension to this wine’s smooth velvety texture. Dusty tannins frame a sophisticated finish.
This wine shows aromas of sweet plum sauce, vanilla, chocolate, cedar and butterscotch with big, forward black cherry and black berry fruit in the mouth. A balanced middle with a hint of toasty oak is paired with a nice bite from rounded tannins, and a long pleasant finish. This wine pairs well with grilled meats and wild game with herb-infused, wild-berry sauces, hearty pasta dishes and Pacific Northwest Salmon.
Wine Enthusiast(From 2007 Vintage) 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.
Wine Spectator(From 1999 Vintage) Rating: 92/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 09/30/03.
Wine & Spirits(From 1998 Vintage)
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines(From 1991 Vintage) Rating: 92/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines on Oct-06
Wine Spectator(From 1993 Vintage) Rating: 90/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 01/31/96