2018 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Monitor Ledge Vineyard
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: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc; Oak profile & Aging: 100% French Oak: 85% New, 15% Neutral, aged for 18 month
This luscious wine beckons with beautiful aromas of blackberry jam, blueberry, cinnamon and huckleberry pie, intermingled with sweet doughy notes and hints of vanilla, black licorice and holiday baking spices. On the velvety palate, the flavors are both opulent and inviting, with ultra-fine tannins and playful acidity framing the luxurious fruit and carrying the wine to a lingering finish with sweet and savory notes of dried sage, tobacco leaf and Mexican chocolate.
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.