2017 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot Rector Creek Vineyard
Rector Creek Vineyard is located north of the town of Yountville along the Silverado Trail. A unique climate featuring a cooling afternoon breeze combined with Rector Creek’s rocky alluvial soils creates excellent growing conditions for the vines. As a result, Rector Creek produces an elegant expression of Merlot with attractive blueberry and allspice aromatics, velvety structure and refined character highlighting classic notes of spicy plum.
Varietal Composition: 100% Estate fruit - 98% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon; Oak Profile: 100% French oak 75% new
The 2017 growing season delivered a beautifully structured and sophisticated expression of Rector Creek Merlot, with alluring layers of chocolate-covered cherry, red raspberry, violet, plum, orange zest and just a hint of rosemary. Round and giving on the palate, with velvety tannins and bright berry flavors, this is an elegant and age-worthy wine that finishes with notes of blueberry, vanilla and graham cracker.
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.