2017 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.
The relatively cool climate of Carneros has yielded a dazzling red-berry driven expression of Merlot, with vibrant layers of cranberry, raspberry, Bing cherry, sage and cedar. On the palate, it is rich and round, with polished, fine-grain tannins framing the luxurious fruit. As it evolves, hints of blueberry, vanilla and sweet oak emerge, drawing the wine to long, elegant finish with notes of black raspberry and sweet tea leaves.
The 2017 growing season began with abundant winter rains, followed by a warm, dry spring that led to a perfectly timed budbreak. In addition to replenishing the water table, the early season rains produced robust canopies, which provided invaluable shade during a week-long heat event that kicked harvest into gear during the last week of August. This was followed by a much-needed cooldown that allowed the vines to recuperate, while also giving us extra hangtime for flavor development and tannin resolution. We harvested throughout September and into early October, with the grapes showing lovely ripeness and quality, yielding plush, polished and wonderfully complex wines.
0.66 g/100 ml
Aged 16 months in 100% French oak - 50% new, 50% neutral