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Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley Estate Grown 2008
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.
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.
Medium dark ruby color; vanilla, berry, black cherry nose; tasty, a little tight, blackberry, berry, black fruit palate; medium-plus finish. (86% Merlot, 9.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.5% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc; 16 mos. in 100% French oak, 20% new, 80% second vintage; 14.5% alcohol) 92+ points
There was a very strong raisiny taste that I found off putting.
Fabulous full bodied light red
External Reviews for Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley Estate Grown
Rating: 85/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (www.cgcw.com) in the August 2010 issue. Even allowing that Cabernets as young as this are far from revealing all that they have, but, in this case, the wine seems a bit underfilled and its complements of green olives, dried leaves and bittersweet chocolate come without much fruity support. It begins with a spot of soft viscosity but picks up a tannic edge as its goes, and, if admittedly too young, it does not encourage great optimism about its future.Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine aging recommendation: Cellar for future drinking. Wine will improve with bottle aging.
"Rating: 84/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (www.cgcw.com) in the November 2010 issue. Merlot's herbal
Rating: 84/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (www.cgcw.com) in the November 2010 issue. Merlot's herbal, slightly vegetal side is very much emphasized here, and the wine never finds the kind or degree of balancing fruit to be complete. It is a bit thin and puckery on the palate with acidity too closely aligned with undisguised tannin, and its dry, underfilled finish suggests the picture here will not improve all that much with time.Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine aging recommendation: Drinkable now. Further bottle aging can improve this wine.
Deep garnet-purple colour. Warm plum and blackberry aromas on the nose with a touch of dark chocolate, cloves and vanilla. Full body, medium to high acid and lots of blackberry and spice flavour. Soft to medium level of velvety tannins. Long finish going a bit earthy. Tasted July 2009.
An intense black wine, this merlot gives itself over tooak in the aromas, then fruit and structure dominate the end. Blueberry and blackberry flavors last, along with a raspy soil character underneath that plants the wine firmly on Howell Mountain. Probably best around 2009 or 2010, this will make a luscious complement to long-cooked beef ribs.
Duckhorn established this style of Napa Valley merlot years ago - soft, majestic, red-fruited wine. This vintage is rich in texture, bold in its floral scents of jasmine and strawberries. The oak flavors of the finish will meld into roast beef.
Winemaker Tom Rinaldi blends for a more modulated ripeness in his Merlot, rather than pushing for a lush, blockbuster style. So in a wine like this '97, he's held onto the tender varietal expression of the grape, cool and firm. There's a lively and consistent ripeness from beginning to end, with the fresh flavor of bosky cherry and plum developing depth in the glass. This wine has a surety and length that grows directly out of Rinaldi's twenty-plus years of experience with Merlot at Duckhorn. Open a bottle with roast partridge or quail stuffed with dried cherries and morels.
Food Pairings for Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley Estate Grown
Dietary Information: Kosher, Organic
25,280 cases produced.
Notes: 100% French Oak Château-style Barrels (60 Gallons) Barrel Aging: 16 Months Age of Barrels: 20% new, 80% second vintage
|Total Acidity: .65 grams per liter|
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