94 Points - Wine Spectator
2013 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot Stout Vineyard
Stout Vineyard is located at approximately 1,700 feet in the Howell Mountain appellation–one of the Napa Valley’s most sought-after, ultra-premium winegrowing regions. As a result of its elevation, topography, soils and climate, Howell Mountain consistently produces a dark, dense and structured Merlot displaying rich wild berry and herb characteristics. In keeping with its mountain origins, this wine is supported by ample tannins, yielding a complex, age-worthy expression of Merlot.
Varietal Content: 100% Merlot; Cooperage: 100% French Oak, Chateau-Style Barrels (60 gallons); Age of Barrels: 85% new oak, 15% neutral
Beginning with aromas of blueberry, mahogany, leather, violet and nutmeg, this lovely Merlot evolves in the glass, slowly revealing itself in fascinating layers. On the palate, flavors of black raspberry, currant, cocoa powder and licorice, are underscored by hints of cedar and earth, as well as firm Howell Mountain tannins and a velvety texture.
The 2013 harvest was early, even and excellent with all of our Estate fruit in the winery by October 10th. A warm dry spring brought an early bud break and created ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set. In the weeks after Labor Day, a moderate heat event followed by a period of perfect weather created a dream scenario for end-of-season ripening. Rain was not a factor, and for the second vintage in a row, the quality of the grapes was exceptional throughout Napa Valley.
Released: September 2016
September 28 – October 4, 2013
0.56 g/100ml Titratable Acidity
18 Months in Barrel