2017 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot (Merry Christmas Etched)
Etched Message: Merry Christmas
Our Napa Valley Merlot is a complex blend of several individual vineyard lots, incorporating fruit from our estate vineyards and from top independent growers throughout the Napa Valley. The final wine is a rich and cohesive expression of the entire Napa Valley, reflecting the varied microclimates and soils of this unique appellation.
Varietal Composition: 80% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 0.5% Malbec; Oak Profile: 100% French oak- 40% new, 60% neutral
A classic expression of Napa Valley Merlot, this wine offers alluring aromas of lush cherry, raspberry, cocoa and freshly baked pie crust. The cherry and raspberry notes are echoed on the silky palate, where fine-grained tannins and flavors of ripe plum, blueberry, licorice and subtle baking spice draw the wine to a long, elegant 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.