2015 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot Stout Vineyard
Six Bottle Limit
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.
This lovely expression of Merlot begins with complex aromas of raspberry, cranberry, dried herbs, cocoa nibs and cigar box. On the palate, a lush, creamy texture underscores flavors of blackberry, red currant, fig, anise, caramel and baking spices. Dusty mountain tannins shine through, framing the fruit, and adding length and density to a rewarding dried fruit and milk chocolate 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.