1998 Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #310451 Connoisseurs Guide

 (17% Cab. Franc; 5% Cab. Sauvignon; 3% Petit Verdot). If a little less rugged and a little more open than young Duckhorn Merlot typically is wont to be, this latest offering from one of the Napa Valley's premier makers of the variety is well-ripened and inviting with a frontal mix of juicy cherries and sweet oak. It gets a slight bit gruff at the finish, but its tannins are never out of bounds, and a few years of cellaring should provide it with all the polish that it needs.  (4/2001)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Dark red. Aromas of red cherry, red berries, cinnamon, nutmeg, sandalwood, rose petal and bourbon; I might have identified this blind as Sangiovese. Juicy, supple, moderately concentrated red fruit flavors seem overshadowed by oak. Initially soft tannins turned a bit dryer in the glass. (ST)  (5/2001)

Wine Spectator

 Well-balanced, with a supple texture and rich currant, anise, cedar, berry and spice, with hints of vanilla and toast. Long, complex aftertaste. (JL)  (9/2001)

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Varietal:

Merlot

- 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.
Country:

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. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
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.