2006 Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #1041704 92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Astringently tannic, as Duckhorn's new red wines tend to be, but very rich, very ripe, and sweet enough in fruit and oak to drink now with a nice steak. Floods the mouth with blackberries, cassic, chocolate, violets, mushu plum sauce, licorice and cedar.  (6/2009)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Duckhorn grabs the brass ring again with this ripe and luscious effort whose classic sweet cherry aromas are laced with complex notes of cassis and creamy oak. On the palate, the wine is silky, supple and balanced and is nicely packed with bright red cherry fruit. Full in body but never heavy in any regard and noticeably tannic without being hard, this one is drinkable now yet can be cellared for three to five years.  (9/2009)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good dark red. Currant, plum, mocha and chocolatey oak on the nose, with hints of menthol and exotic flowers. Supple currant and menthol flavors offer a nice sugar/acid balance but also betray a slightly roasted character. A moderately dense merlot that finishes a tad green. (ST)  (6/2009)

Wine Spectator

 Elegant and rather juicy, with currant and cola aromas and modest cherry and cedar-herb flavors. (TF)  (7/2009)

K&L Notes

Duckhorn has made their reputation on exceptional Merlots, and the 2006 vintage may be one of their best yet. Its sweet late-summer plum and framboise aromas are spiked hints of fresh-cracked walnuts and curls of sandalwood incense. Take a sip and your mouth fills with bright raspberry and cherry fruit baked into a graham cracker pie crust with extra cinnamon spice.

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Price: $54.99
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- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.