1999 Duckhorn Howell Mountain Merlot

SKU #1003107 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 The least accessible of Duckhorn's Merlot lineup is shut down now by strong, astringent tannins and firm acids. Letting it breathe reveals a fabulous core of ripe cherry and raspberry fruit that is so intense, it's like Framboise. Utterly good, almost gooey in sheer flavor. Will age for a very long time, and best to decant many hours in advance.  (8/2004)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Well-focused on a center of ripe currant, plum and blackberry, with hints of clayish earth, lead pencil, mocha and anise folded in, giving it added flavor dimension and a long, detailed aftertaste that's a cut above most Merlots. Ample tannins for cellaring; to drink now, decant. (JL)  (9/2003)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1999 Merlot Howell Mountain’s saturated ruby/purple color is followed by a big nose of licorice, creme de cassis, and subtle smoke as well as oak notes. Medium to full-bodied, with a long, textured, concentrated finish, this 1999 balances the vintage’s high tannin with sufficient fruit and extract. (RP)  (12/2003)

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Price: $49.99
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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.
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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.