Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley Estate Grown 2006

MSRP: $75.00
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Tasting Notes:

As the debut vintage of our Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine was blended to showcase the structure and c...

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  • WE: 94

    Wine Enthusiast Score

    94

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  • SN: 93

    Snooth Editorial Score

    93

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  • W&S: 87

    Wine & Spirits Magazine Score

    87

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  • WS: 91

    Wine Spectator Score

    91

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Black cherry, vanilla, tobacco leaf, herbs, earth, and a touch of French oak are all nicely balanced. This is seamless on entry with excellent pur... Read more

Quite floral black fruit nose alongside earthier aromas and black olives. Flavors are brighter, red fruit with powdered sugar, big tannins and a lo... Read more

Bright, lovely fruit, drying but balanced tannins, great acidity, ripe red fruit, good spice and a long warm finish. Read more

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Suggested Recipe Pairing presented by
Layered Rice Pudding

RiceSelect's fragrant Jasmati® is blended with eggs, milk and fall's favorite spices, cinnamon and nutmeg, to create a delicious rice pudding, which is layered on top of fluffy cream cheese and abuttery pecan crust. Pairs well with a bold, tawny port with flavors of dried fruits, nuts, and spices.

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Editorial Reviews for Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley Estate Grown

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
89065211,213
4.50 5
12/14/2009

Black cherry, vanilla, tobacco leaf, herbs, earth, and a touch of French oak are all nicely balanced. This is seamless on entry with excellent purity of black cherry fruit. The acidity creeps up on you a little but the fruit is very precise and fresh with lovely suggestions of herb and tomato with fine shadings of cigarbox and cedar. This is refined and elegant with excellent length in a surprisingly fresh and juicy style that really highlights the red fruits. 93pts


User Reviews for Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley Estate Grown

Add your review
3.50 5
09/22/2009

Quite floral black fruit nose alongside earthier aromas and black olives. Flavors are brighter, red fruit with powdered sugar, big tannins and a long finish.


4.00 5
09/22/2009

Bright, lovely fruit, drying but balanced tannins, great acidity, ripe red fruit, good spice and a long warm finish.


4.00 5
12/12/2009

Chocolate covered strawberry aromas make way for a tasty wine, rich and rewarding, the acidity is well in balance with the alcohol, there's loads of spice and a good backbone of tannin. A confident wine.


Snooth User: Chris Carpita
330935,531
4.00 5
03/31/2010

Thick and dark, cherry creeps in with other blackfruits and blueberries on the release. Also gives mint and cardemom in the nose


Snooth User: Chris Carpita
330935,531
2.50 5
03/31/2010

Smooth aroma with oak, herbs, melon. Chalky. Long body, a bit sharp, bitter aftertaste


Snooth User: Nicki Gig
1783064,202
4.00 5
04/02/2010

berry filled jammy aromas. palate offers loads of dark fruit, cassis, black currants with sweet jam-like combinations, silky smooth mouthfeel


Snooth User: John Andrews
361063,418
3.50 5
09/13/2009

Is it bad to love a second label more than the first? When the wines are young, I tend to pick Decoy over the same vintage Duckhorn. The 2006 Decoy is no exception. One year after my first review of this wine, good balance, a little hot, smokiness, spice, and leather. Earthy, nice tannins and dark fruit. Worked well with a rib-eye.


1 2 3 4

External Reviews for Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley Estate Grown

11/12/2010

Rating: 93/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (www.cgcw.com) in the August 2010 issue. 2006 has been a bit uneven as far as Cabernet is concerned, but this deep and beautifully made offering reminds again of the folly in dismissing any vintage out of hand. Supple and forthrightly fruity with plenty of sweet oak and a fine sense of reserve, it is at once open and built for the cellar with long, layered flavors. Its fine-grained tannins provide just the right bit of grip, and its impressions of proportion make it a sure bet to improve for many years.Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine aging recommendation: Cellar for future drinking. Wine will improve with bottle aging.


07/05/2011

"Rating: 93/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (www.cgcw.com) in the August 2010 issue. 2006 has been a bit uneven as far as Cabernet is concerned


07/05/2011

"Rating: 90/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (www.cgcw.com) in the August 2010 issue. If arguably a slightly smaller scaled wine than its more opulent mates


11/12/2010

Rating: 91/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (www.cgcw.com) in the August 2010 issue. It is a difficult if wholly enjoyable task to pick a clear favorite, and like its partner from Rector Creek, this one is a wonderfully supple and fleshy wine whose ample ripeness and delicious fruit come without excess. Its nicely fit tannins provide structure without imparting toughness while its inviting charms remind a bit of top-flight Merlot, and, if close to irresistible now, it too is a candidate for long-term keeping and should be held for at least a half-dozen years.Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine aging recommendation: Cellar for future drinking. Wine will improve with bottle aging.


11/12/2010

Rating: 91/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (www.cgcw.com) in the August 2010 issue. The inaugural release of Duckhorn's new proprietary label is a study in sturdiness, ripeness and size. Long on essential fruit, yet a little less "fruity" in style, it exhibits a complex mix of toast, cedary spice, espresso, raspberries and well-ripened currants. It is the tightest, most firmly built bottling on the winery's 2006 roster and is finished with a fair bit of grippy young tannins, but its potential for better is beyond dispute, and it warrants at least five years of patience.Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine aging recommendation: Cellar for future drinking. Wine will improve with bottle aging.


11/12/2010

Rating: 89/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (www.cgcw.com) in the August 2010 issue. Attractive highlights of root beer sweetness and spice serve to enrich themes of currants and raspberries first in this wine's very deep and well-extracted aromas and again in its moderately rich flavors. However appealing, those flavors do tend to tighten a bit in progression and are challenged just now by fairly abrupt tannins. There is a good chance that the wine will outgrow its awkward adolescence if given a chance, and we recommend a wait of some five or six years.Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine aging recommendation: Cellar for future drinking. Wine will improve with bottle aging.


11/12/2010

Rating: 90/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (www.cgcw.com) in the August 2010 issue. If arguably a slightly smaller scaled wine than its more opulent mates, this bottling still shows fine fruity depth as well as the polish that seems a Duckhorn signature in 2006. It takes a somewhat more mannerly and elegant tack yet has a fine sense of muscle as well, and, while never a powerful wine, it hangs on and on at the finish. Tag it for drinking in three or four years, but know that its balance and depth will ensure a good ten years of life.Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine aging recommendation: Cellar for future drinking. Wine will improve with bottle aging.


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Ratings & Tags for Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley Estate Grown

rated this wine
2.00 5
02/22/2010

197399 Snooth User: xozai
rated this wine
4.50 5
11/26/2010

239358 Snooth User: Elizleo
rated this wine
3.50 5
12/04/2010

239358 Snooth User: Elizleo
rated this wine
4.00 5
12/04/2010

102415 Snooth User: asmeltz
rated this wine
4.00 5
11/30/2008

574826 Snooth User: deenapon
rated this wine
4.00 5
12/01/2010

rated this wine
3.50 5
01/02/2010

1 2

Winemaker's Notes:

The unique climate and soils on Howell Mountain are the key to the appellation’s success in producing powerful, age-worthy wines. Duckhorn Vineyards has sourced grapes from this distinctive region for more than a quarter century and has crafted a Howell Mountain bottling since 1989. Over the years, we have increased our commitment to this appellation with the purchase of two spectacular vineyards, Candlestick Ridge (28 acres) and Stout Ranch (36 acres). To encourage further complexity, we bottle-age this wine a year longer than our other wines prior to release. As a result, our Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon offers excellent structure and deep color. This wine is suitable for long-term cellaring.

Tasting Notes:

As the debut vintage of our Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine was blended to showcase the structure and complexity of Cabernet Sauvignon from this storied winegrowing region. Crafted around a core of older vine fruit from our Stout Vineyard, there is an unmistakable wildness to this wine with wild berry layers supported by earthy undertones, fresh herb layers of mint, eucalyptus and sage, and an oak-inspired note of coconut macaroon. A study in power and restraint, this mountain-grown wine is broad and lush on the palate with a big, yet elegant, finish.

The unique climate and soils on Howell Mountain are the key to the appellation’s success in producing powerful, age-worthy wines. Duckhorn Vineyards has sourced grapes from this distinctive region for more than a quarter century and has crafted a Howell Mountain bottling since 1989. Over the years, we have increased our commitment to this appellation with the purchase of two spectacular vineyards, Candlestick Ridge (28 acres) and Stout Ranch (36 acres). To encourage further complexity, we bottle-age this wine a year longer than our other wines prior to release. As a result, our Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon offers excellent structure and deep color. This wine is suitable for long-term cellaring.

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2,941 cases produced.

Closure: Cork

Aged 20 months in French Oak.

Notes: 100% French oak château-style barrels (60 Gallons) Barrel Aging: 20 Months Age of Barrels: 80% New, 20% Second Vintage

Chemical Analysis:

Alcohol: 14.5% pH: 3.56
Total Acidity: .66 grams per liter

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