2010 Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot
From first sniff on through to its very long, tannin-firmed finish, this very solid, nicely extracted Merlot is marked by continuous and incisive, black cherry fruit, and its carefully placed oak lends a fine trim of sweet spice without ever once interfering with its keen fruity message. It is supple and slightly rounded in feel just as good Merlot should be, yet it has the grip and integral tannin of a wine meant for keeping and will age famously for another half decade or more.
Offers aromas of currant and tomato leaf, with structured flavors of black cherry, cedar and walnut. A solid wine in a tough vintage. Drink now through 2018.
Duckhorn is one of Napa Valley's top Merlot producers, and this bottling represents estate fruit in combination with additional fruit from several vineyards representing the finest of Napa's varied sites and soil types. It incorporates 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc into the blend and the wine was aged in large French oak barrels (25% new) for 15 months before bottling. From the winemaker: "With firm tannins and exceptional length, this is a lovely and age-worthy wine that shows how much Merlot can excel in a cooler growing season. The aromas are rich and inviting with layers of amaretto, sweet spice and cedar. On the palate, lush flavors of plum, blackberry and cherry dominate, with the tannins adding structure and depth."