Monitor Ledge is named for an outcropping of rock in the mountains overlooking the vineyard and has been an important component of Duckhorn Vineyards wine blends since 1985. Located on the alluvial fan of Selby Creek and featuring lean, well-draining soils that force the small berry-producing vines to struggle, Monitor Ledge benefits from excellent sun exposure that consistently produces ideal ripening. This unique wine displays exceptional intensity and structure alongside rich dark berry elements and complex barrel flavors.
Varietal Composition: 100% estate fruit - 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot; Oak profile: 100% French oak 85% new
Monitor Ledge has produced a beautifully aromatic wine, with inviting layers of huckleberry, black cherry and chocolate-covered blueberry, as well as notes of caramelized pear, vanilla and sweet baking spices. The palate is plush and round, with fine, dusty tannins underscoring the lush fruit, and hints of fresh herbs and bright acidity contributing to a long, vibrant finish.
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.