90 Points - Wine Enthusiast
2012 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.
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Varietal Content: 100% Merlot; Cooperage: 100% French Oak Château-style Barrels (60 Gallons); Age of Barrels: 50% new, 50% second vintage
The exceptional 2012 vintage and the unique terroir of Carneros have produced a sensual, velvety Merlot with intense aromas of French lavender, fig compote, cranberry, leather and flinty minerality. On the palate, a lush, supple structure and subtle French oak accentuate flavors of ripe black cherry, truffles and thyme, with fine-grained tannins adding length to a pure, focused finish.
The 2012 growing season offered near-perfect growing conditions. Though budbreak was late due to heavy spring rains, warm weather during bloom allowed the vines to set a large crop. Increased yields were the result of more berries, not larger berries. This translated into even higher quality in the winery, as the skin-to-juice ratio remained ideal. Slightly cooler-than-average post-veraison weather and a lack of any heat events allowed for greatly extended hang time. Harvest was 2-3 weeks later than average, and the grapes arrived at the winery in pristine condition.
Released: May 2015
September 28 - October 19, 2010
0.61 g/100 ml titratable acidity
16 Months in Barrel
10-12 days fermentation at 80°F
Wine Review Online