2010 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Estate Merlot Stout Vineyard
91 Points from Wine Enthusiast! Stout Vineyard is located in the Howell Mountain appellation, one of the Napa Valley’s most sought-after, ultra-premium winegrowing regions. As a result of its topography, soils and climate, Howell Mountain has distinctly different grape-growing conditions than the valley floor. This 35-acre vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Petit Verdot, Grenache and Syrah. The Stout Vineyard also has 300 mature olive trees that were planted at the turn of the 19th century.
86% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon
100% French Oak, Chateau-Style Barrels (60 gallons)
Barrel Aging: 18 Months
Age of Barrels: 100% New
This wine has a beautiful and complex nose of exotic Indian plum, black cherry, blackberry, toffee, bittersweet chocolate and dried wild herbs. On the palate, rich strawberry rhubarb and cherry-cola flavors are supported by creamy oak, robust tannins and savory hints of smoked meat. The finish is balanced and supple, with intriguing notes of clove and candied ginger.
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.