2007 Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 1.5L
This outstanding effort from a long-time champion of Merlot conveys all of the plush and outgoing black cherry fruit that marks the very best varietal bottlings. It is full and fleshy with just the right touch of structural grip, and it has real potential for growth even while being inviting now. It will satisfy in the short term with a juicy Porterhouse steak, but it is bound to get better and will gain in complexity for six to ten years.
As usual with Duckhorn's red wines, this Merlot is more tannic and acidic than most anything coming from the Napa Valley. They're emphasizing structure over decadence. But that's not to say there aren't rich, elaborate berry, cherry, currant, chocolate and cedar flavors that provide bang for the buck. Very elegant and refined, this Merlot should be decanted before serving.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Dark red. Musky currant, tobacco and licorice on the nose, with hints of flowers and mint. Juicy, moderately nuanced flavors of dark berries and tobacco are joined by spicy oak on the broad finish, which features dusty, slightly drying tannins. Displays fresher fruit than the 2006 version. (ST)
Sleek and complex, with appealing aromas of red currant and spicy tomato leaf and layered flavors of black cherry and mocha. Turns slightly firm and leathery on the finish.