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.
Richer and more complex than what you would expect for a merlot, the cabernet adds quite a bit of depth. Well rounded fruit and just the right amount of oak.
Las Vegas 10/14 - Smooth, medium body
Very smooth with a solid finish.
Merkle summit tasting.
Good Above Merlot
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.