2016 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.
Varietal Content: 100% Merlot; Cooperage: 100% French oak - 50% new, 50% neutral
In recent years, the cool mountain slopes of Atlas Peak have gained acclaim for yielding some of Napa Valley’s most beautifully complex and structured Bordeaux-varietal wines. With its lush and alluring aromas, rich mouthfeel and bold flavors, this wine shows why. On the palate, layers of crème brûlée, blackberry, blueberry, dark chocolate, licorice and baking spices are underscored by rustic, mountain tannins, which bring a lovely tension to the finish, while promising a long life in the cellar.
2016 offered another near-perfect vintage in Napa Valley! While much-needed rain during the winter months helped to replenish our reservoirs, a dry spring and summer, with moderate temperatures and plenty of sunshine, led to another early harvest. Our first white grapes came into the winery on August 3rd, with the remainder of our whites following at an even, steady pace. A few weeks of ideally timed cool weather in early September provided additional hangtime, yielding bright acids and beautifully articulated flavors in our early ripening reds. Warm, dry weather for the remainder of the season allowed the rest of our grapes to develop rich, concentrated flavors, with polished tannins and wonderful complexity.