Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2003


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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 2 months. The bright fruit and forward nature of our Napa Valley Merlot pairs well with grilled meats and wild game with herb-infused, wild berry sauces, hearty pasta dishes, and Pacific Northwest salmon.
Category Red Wine
Country California
Region Napa Valley
Brand Duckhorn
Alcohol/vol 14.5%
  • we92

Wine EnthusiastHere's a wonderfully rich, rewarding Merlot. It's as soft and creamy as melted chocolate mixed with blackcurrant jam and a sprinkle of creme de cassis, with a rich sprinkling of oaky vanilla, but fortunately, it has the acidic backbone needed for structure. This is a sexy wine.

Steve Heimoff, February 1, 2006
  • ws86

Wine SpectatorFirm and structured, with a mix of ripe currant, cedary oak, herb, anise and spice notes. The tannins are tight, compact and drying on the finish.

James Laube, February 28, 2006