2014 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 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.
Intense aromas of bright cherry, strawberry and plum explode from the glass followed by subtler notes of leather, licorice, vanilla and tea leaves. The bright red fruit continues on the elegant palate, where ripe berry flavors and hints of chocolate, rose petal and anise are framed by dusty tannins that accentuate a long, lingering finish.
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.