2015 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.
From its explosive layers of lush fruit to its bright acidity and impeccable structure, this wine shows why we have long prized the Merlot from Carneros. On the palate, voluptuous flavors of cherry, red plum, strawberry and currants glide across velvety tannins, with underlying notes of pomegranate, vanilla bean and graham cracker crust adding nuance and depth to a long, satisfying finish.
In Napa Valley, a warm, dry spring resulted in any early budbreak, while an extended flowering period brought a return to normal yields after three years of abundant crops. With berry weights down, the grapes offered great concentration, while retaining excellent acidity. We had one of our earliest harvests in the past decade, with our first white grapes arriving at the winery on July 31st. A light rain in mid-September nourished the vines, while providing welcome additional hangtime. Overall, the quality of the fruit was exceptional, with our white wines showing both richness and complexity, and our red grapes displaying a fine balance between elegance and intensity, with gorgeous dark fruit flavors.