Our Napa Valley Merlot is a complex blend of several individual vineyard lots, incorporating fruit from our Estate Vineyards and from top independent growers throughout the Napa Valley. The final wine is a rich and cohesive expression of the entire Napa Valley, reflecting the varied microclimates and soils of this unique appellation. Our Napa Valley Merlot captures the balanced character of a young wine, while embodying the diversity of the entire Napa Valley appellation. The product of a standout Merlot vintage, the Merlot in 2006 offered an excellent expression of the varietal and required read more...read more...very little blending with other grapes-with only small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot used to add subtle complexity. This Merlot offers a rich texture, ripe tannins and seamlessly integrated French oak. The bouquet displays lush layers of ripe plum and bright raspberry underscored by notes of sandalwood, walnut and spice. On the palate, polished flavors of red cherry and raspberry are accented by an enticing layer of graham cracker piecrust. 96% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot (hide)
The wine opens up it exhibits complex notes of cedar, cranberry, red licorice, cardamom and wild herbs. The cranberry flavors are echoed on the palate, alongside robust elements of Bing cherry, blackberry, currant, spicy plum and milk chocolate. These flavors are accentuated by balanced natural acidity and framed by ample, ripe, mountain tannins, producing a Merlot with exceptional aging potential.
International Wine Cellar(2003 Vintage) Dark ruby-red. Deep aromas of currant, dark chocolate, licorice, tobacco leaf and earth. Broad, supple and rich, with a restrained sweetness and fat flavors of cherry, currant, chocolate and tobacco. Finishes with a fine dusting of tannins. Lacks only the lift and definition for a higher score.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines(2002 Vintage) 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. In the minds of many, Duckhorn has become something of a gold standard when it comes to Napa Valley Merlot, and this deep, keenly crafted example serves as an exemplary case in point. Its unstinting fruit is enriched with plenty of complementary oak, and it maintains a wonderful sense of juicy cherries even as its well-woven tannins provide a nice bit of finishing grip. Its optimal ripeness comes without evident heat, and it offers immense immediate pleasure while promisin...
International Wine Cellar(2002 Vintage) Good ruby-red. Aromas of roasted black fruits, smoke and meat. Sweet, layered, deep and rich, with lightly caramelized yet sappy flavors of black raspberry, tobacco, chocolate and meat. Finishes with substantial but lush tannins and excellent velvety yet juicy length.
Wine Enthusiast(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(1999 Vintage) Rating: 92/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 09/30/03.