2018 Duckhorn Merlot Napa Valley
2018 Duckhorn Merlot Napa Valley, From California
Winemaker Notes; A classic expression of Napa Valley Merlot, this wine offers alluring aromas of lush cherry, raspberry, cocoa and freshly baked pie crust. The cherry and raspberry notes are echoed on the silky palate, where fine-grained tannins and flavors of ripe plum, blueberry, licorice and subtle baking spice draw the wine to a long, elegant finish.
Merlot is a red wine grape variety with strong historic ties to Bordeaux and the southwest of France. It is the predominant variety in most wines from Saint-Émilion and Pomerol, the area in which the variety originated. Merlot is now widely planted in wine regions across the world and, in terms of the volumes of wine produced internationally, it is rivaled only by its Bordeaux companion, Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot is an early maturing grape variety and can ripen fully even in slightly cooler climates. This reliable ripening is a main factor behind its increased presence over recent decades in the Médoc and (mostly replacing white varieties) Entre-Deux-Mers areas of Bordeaux. Its key drawback is that the early-developing flowers are more susceptible to frost damage in spring.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.