Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Howell Mountain 1996
75% Merlot 15% Cabernet Franc 10% Cabernet Sauvignon To make a Merlot that could compete with the great Merlot-based wines of the right bank of Bordeaux, we began by sourcing fruit grown primarily in alluvial soils, those with high water drainage and little topsoil. This type of soil produces intense fruit that translates into aromatic and complex wines. Our Napa Valley Merlot is a blend of several individual vineyard lots. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and occasionally Petit Verdot make up the final blend. We keep each individual vineyard lot separate through the fermentation and barrel-aging process. After roughly 16 months in oak, the various lots are evaluated and blended, then put back in the barrel to marry for an additional two months. The bright fruit and forward nature of our Napa Valley Merlot pairs well with grilled meats and wild game, wild berry sauces, hearty pasta dishes and Pacific Northwest salmon.
Co-founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has spent a quarter century establishing itself as one of North America's premier producers of Bordeaux varietal 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.
External Reviews for Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Howell Mountain
"Rating: 91/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (www.cgcw.com) in the November 2010 issue. A very successful wine with plenty of life left ahead of it
Rating: 91/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (www.cgcw.com) in the November 2010 issue. A very successful wine with plenty of life left ahead of it, it earns big plaudits first for its Merlot-ness, its sweet red cherry fruit that has done what good fruit in the Duckhorn style is expected to do. It is both complex and yet solid and straightforward with depth, layered richness and a veneer of tannin. It makes a bow to Cabernet styling but never loses its varietal identity. Bravo.
The dense ruby/purple/plum-colored 1996 Merlot Howell Mountain offers smoky, earthy, and cherry aromas with new wood in the background. The wine is fleshy, medium to full-bodied, with good underlying acidity and tannin, but no hard edges. While power... Robert Parker. A Merlot wine from California in USA. 1996 Duckhorn Merlot Howell Mountain 750ml