2014 Duckhorn Vineyards Atlas Peak Napa Valley Merlot
We produced our first Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot in 1978. In the years since, mountain-grown grapes have played an essential role in our Napa Valley Merlot program. Atlas Peak’s temperatures can be as much as 10 degrees cooler than the valley floor, and its high-elevation vineyards are largely above the fog line. This results in long, even ripening that delivers exceptional Merlot vintage after vintage. Our Atlas Peak Merlot displays beautiful concentration with briar berry character alongside wild spice and herb notes.
This gorgeous expression of mountain-grown Merlot displays enticing aromas of cherry cola, sage, and crème brulée that hint at this wine’s depth and intensity. On the palate, beautifully structured tannins and a rich, velvety mouthfeel accentuate luxurious flavors of red and black fruit, as well as notes of plum and licorice candy.
Here in Napa Valley, the 2014 growing season delivered our third exceptional vintage in a row, yielding wines with ideal concentration, elegant tannins and lovely varietal flavors. Though the 2013/2014 winter was one of the driest on record, heavy rains in February and March provided the vines much-needed moisture at just the right time. A warm spring triggered an early budbreak, and perfect weather throughout the summer allowed the grapes to achieve ideal ripeness with pure, focused flavors and resolved tannins. Harvest began on August 5th and ended on October 15th, and though it was quite compact, we were able to pick all of our grapes based solely on flavor, resulting in another fantastic vintage.