92 Points - Wine Spectator
2014 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot
Our Napa Valley Merlot is a complex blend of several individual vineyard lots, incorporating fruit from our estate vineyards and from top independent growers throughout the Napa Valley. The final wine is a rich and cohesive expression of the entire Napa Valley, reflecting the varied microclimates and soils of this unique appellation.
Varietal Content: 88% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc; Cooperage: 100% French Oak Château-style Barrels (60 Gallons); Age of Barrels: 40% New, 60% Neutral
Combining lovely structure and alluring appeal, this is a classic expression of Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot. Intense aromas of ripe cherry, plum and black fig rise from the glass, underscored by hints of leather and cedar. On the palate, it is lush and supple, with bright acidity and velvety tannins supporting layers of raspberry and black cherry, as well as hints of coffee and chocolate that carry through on the long 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.
Released: April 2017
September 2 — October 15, 2014
0.58 g/100 ml titratable acidity
16 Months in Barrel
10-12 days fermentation at 82°F