2010 Duckhorn Vineyards Carneros Napa Valley Merlot
After falling in love with Merlot during a visit to Bordeaux, Dan Duckhorn started producing Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot in 1978. In the years since, grapes from the Napa County portion of Carneros have played a pivotal role in our Napa Valley Merlot program. Influenced by the cooling effect of the Pacific Ocean, Carneros is ideally suited for growing exceptional Merlot, yielding a wine with beautiful structure, velvety texture and lovely layers of plum and mulberry.
98% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
100% French Oak Château-style Barrels (60 Gallons)
Barrel Aging: 15 Months
Age of Barrels: 50% new, 50% second vintage
The hallmark of this Merlot is its sensual, velvety suppleness and its pure red fruit. The aromas offer enticing layers of Bing cherry and bright raspberry, as well as supporting notes of almond, tobacco, olive and sage. The cherry and raspberry notes are echoed on the palate, along with flavors of cranberry and anise. Oak aging adds mid-palate weight with lifted acidity, supporting the berry flavors throughout a firm, lingering finish.
Due to a wet spring and mild growing season the 2010 harvest started two weeks later than we would normally expect. Later, milder seasons tend to result in wines of fine elegance and balanced natural acidity. This is exactly what we see in our white wines and the best reds from superior locations. During harvest the conditions (a strong heat wave and then significant late rains), caused us to be very diligent in the vineyards fine tuning the fruit and making timely picking decisions. In the winery we took precautions to be respectful to the characteristics of the fruit and feel that has resulted in wines of character and intrigue.