2012 Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (1.5L)
Duckhorn has long had the knack for making well-ripened, very solid Merlots that are far more than affable quaffers, and, if not without a certain fruity appeal at the moment, this one exhibits the vitality, structure and depth of a wine meant for keeping. It is moderately tannic and just rough enough on the back end to dissuade hasty drinking, but at the finish, just as at every stop along its vigorous, well-focused flavors, deep and decisive, black-cherry fruit is its governing message and will continue to be for a good many years to come.
Benefiting from a larger percentage of Three Palms Vineyard fruit than ever before, this majority Merlot also holds Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The result is a density of rich, soft and spicy red fruit supported by structured tannins. This is ready for the table and a wide range of pairings.
Focused and deeply structured, with bold blackberry and cedar aromas and flavors, accented with a plush texture and notes of cherry, tobacco and mineral.
This Merlot-dominated blend reminds us why Duckhorn earned its reputation as one of California's preminent sources for Merlot. The 2012 vintage, with its long hang time, was perfect for making a rich, seamless, structured wine. Winemaker notes: "From its aromas of Santa Rosa plum, creme de cassis, violet and Herbes de Provence to its enticing flavors of olallieberry, sticky toffee and vanilla bean, this is a complex and compelling expression of Napa Valley Merlot."