Original
342 Ratings
Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley

Wine Details

Varietal

Merlot

Style

Red

Wine Description

(2008 Vintage) The 2008 growing season has produced a particularly complex and complete expression of Napa Valley Merlot, combining bright, lifted red fruit elements with darker, more extracted layers. This depth is on display in the aromatics, where notes of Asian spice, red currant, plum and blueberry crisp are supported by a subtle streak of earthiness. The palate is both velvety and balanced, with flavors that echo the aromas.

(2008 Vintage) From its very well-focused aromas of caramel, dark cherries and sweet tobacco to its deep, impressively filled flavors, this classy and yet very solid Merlot demonstrates a keen sense of careful composition. It backs up its ample, optimally ripened fruit with good, grippy tannins, yet it always adheres to the imperatives of suppleness that mark fine Merlot. It finishes on the tough and astringent side, and it deserves another five years of cellaring in which to fully come into its own.

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    I am not a merlot lover, but I like this! a good balance of fruit, spice, and dryness, great mouthfeel. almost Cabernet like! a little bitter aftertaste. The 2008 growing season has produced a particularly complex and complete expression of Napa Valley Merlot, combining bright, lifted red fruit elements with darker, more extracted layers. This depth is on display in the aromatics, where notes of Asian spice, red currant, plum and blueberry crisp are supported by a subtle streak of earthiness. The palate is both velvety and balanced, with flavors that echo the aromas. These flavors are held together by granular tannins and accented by oak-inspired notes of molasses and nougat.

    about 6 years
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    smooth

    over 5 years
Expert Reviews
Read all 5 expert reviews
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Wine & Spirits
    (1998 Vintage)
  • Wine Spectator
    (1993 Vintage) Rating: 90/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 01/31/96