2018 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.
From its complex aromas of Mission fig, red currant, black cherry and huckleberry to its energetic acidity and rich, rustic structure this is a dazzling expression of mountain-grown Merlot. On the palate, flavors of raspberry, black plum, chocolate and anise mingle with hints of cedar, clove and orange blossom throughout a long, complex finish.
For both red and white grapes, 2018 offered near picture-perfect growing conditions, with mild spring and summer weather, and no significant heat events. The conditions were ideal for both our Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, which show beautiful tropical notes and ripe flavors at low sugars. While our Chardonnay harvest began about three weeks later than normal, the fruit arrived at the winery in pristine condition, producing dynamic and complex wines. The excellent growing conditions naturally resulted in a slightly larger than average crop for our red Bordeaux varieties, with fully lignified seeds at low sugars levels. With temperate weather throughout fall, we were able to pick each block at optimal ripeness, yielding exceptionally juicy and polished red wines, with plush, well-rounded tannins, and lovely overall structure.
0.56 g/100 ml
100% French Oak: 50% New, 50% Neutral; aged 16 months