2011 Duckhorn Vineyards The Discussion Napa Valley Red Wine
Over three decades ago, before crafting their first vintage, the Duckhorn’s and their winemaker had a passionate discussion at the kitchen table. Though they debated making a cuvée, they chose to focus on varietal wines. Even so, Duckhorn Vineyards has always remained fascinated by the artful blend of varietals from diverse Napa Valley vineyards. Embodying the depth and complexity of a world-class Estate program, The Discussion represents the pinnacle of the Duckhorn Vineyards portfolio and the ongoing dialogue that defines great winemaking.
Varietal Composition: 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot; Cooperage: 100% French oak château-style barrels (60 gallons); Age of Barrels: 95% New, 5% Second vintage
Complex and compelling, this beautiful wine reveals savory aromatics of sage and bay leaf, combined with layers of intense cranberry, Bing cherry, sassafras and cedar. On the palate, velvety tannins set the framework for an elegantly structured and beautifully balanced wine, with layers of red fruit, Mission figs and minerality, as well as hints of cedar, white pepper and pipe tobacco that linger of the finish.
In one of the coolest growing seasons in memory, we benefited greatly in 2011 from our 35 years of experience farming Bordeaux varietals. To counteract uneven vine growth due to unusual spring weather, we did meticulous green thinning. We also gently opened up the canopy to expose the fruit, were judicious in our picking schedule, and sorted meticulously both in the vineyards and winery. The majority of our Merlot came in before the October rains, and due to our quality adjustments the remainder of our fruit fared well until it was harvested. Warm up-valley locations like Oakville, Rutherford, St, Helena and Calistoga were particularly successful, and overall the resulting wines are pure and elegant.
My wife and I were in Napa Valley last weekend for a much needed break from children and work. We were told by a couple that Duckhorn Vineyards was a must. We stopped in without a reservation and sat up at the newly installed bar where Tony educated us about Duckhorn. Although the tasting was for four or five wines, they let us try a lot more. My wife loves the Merlot, as I did too. (My wife is not a Merlot drinker.) yet we both fell in love with The Discussion. We couldn't get over how smooth this blend was and can't wait to by a few bottle to share with family and friends. Duckhorn Vineyards rated the highest in our book over the dozen other wineries we visited.
(Feb 11, 2016 at 10:39 AM)
At Duckhorn Vineyards today, aromatic nose of mocha chocolate, licorice, plum, black cherry, and fig, more of the same on the palate, elegant, complex, has improved dramatically the last six months, big body, should improve more the next three years, rich fruit on the mid palate, long , flavorful finish and aftertaste. Bought two bottles, now have four bottles in the cellar.
(Apr 3, 2016 at 3:45 PM)
Big and balanced with several earthy notes, full of natural flavors, a hint of wood, smoke and minerals... Lovely accomplishment!