This full-bodied, mouthfilling Merlot brings together grapes from five Estate vineyards to create a robust, layered wine, notable for its fruit intensity, soft, integrated tannins and bright acidity. Crafted around a core of grapes from our Rector Creek Vineyard, it displays beautiful blueberry and floral notes underscored by fresh red berry and pomegranate elements from Monitor Ledge. Our Stout and Patzimaro vineyards add depth, complexity and subtle hints of wild herbs, while our Cork Tree Vineyard contributes a velvety mid-palate and touches of plum and spice.
Our Estate Grown Merlot represents over 20 years of research and experience with Napa Valley Merlot. From our first vintage in 1978, we knew that we were in uncharted territory—one of a few who had seriously considered producing a varietal Merlot. Our estate vineyards are located in the best alluvial fans of the Napa Valley starting with the Selby Creek fan in the north, moving to Ritchie Creek in St. Helena, and finishing with the Rector Creek fan in Yountville. The shallow topsoil and high water drainage of the alluvial soils force the vine to send roots deep in search of water. The rocks retain the day's heat bringing relief to the vine during the cold spring mornings and foggy summer nights. The grapes remain small and the leaf canopy restrained. Our Estate Grown Merlot is produced from the finest fruit, and is the pride of our Merlot portfolio.
Wine Enthusiast Review:
Classic Duckhorn, which is to say, dry, tannic, elegantly structured and expensive. The winemaker succeeded, in this so-so year, in crafting a rich, nuanced wine of considerable interest. It may not be a longterm ager, but it’s delicious now, with deep flavors of blackberries, red currants, violets, cocoa and smoky oak, balanced with the prettiest acidity. Grows better in the glass as it breathes. -S.H.
Wine Spectator Review:
Sleek and well-focused, with red currant and toasty herb aromas that lead to black cherry, spice and cedar flavors. Dry tannins tighten the finish. Drink now through 2014. 2,006 cases made. –TF
Robert Parker Review:
The 2006 Merlot Estate is one-dimensional and simple.
I have higher hopes for Duckhorn-s 2007s than the bevy of 2006s I tasted. While they are good, most had issues with hard, aggressive tannins as well as high acid levels that give the wines clipped personalities. In short, if a wine tastes too tannic, it is too tannic, and that may be the problem with Duckhorn-s 2006s. Readers should note that any wine that received a score with a question mark will undoubtedly dry out and become hollow before it ever blossoms. - Robert Parker
Wine maker notes
Handpicked by the Duckhorn family to be the executive winemaker for Duckhorn Wine Company's Napa Valley properties, Bill Nancarrow brings a global understanding of viticulture and enology to his role as executive winemaker for Duckhorn Vineyards and Paraduxx. Combining a respect for tradition with a talent for innovation, Bill applies his expansive knowledge of winemaking to the task of continuing Duckhorn Wine Company's legacy of quality.
The 2006 growing season was marked by a very mild summer with a mid-July heat spike that accelerated ripening. Mild temperatures continued throughout the fall allowing for a moderately paced harvest. The long growing season brought complex and intense flavor and aroma development.
Co-founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has spent more than 30 years establishing itself as one of North America’s premier producers of Bordeaux varietal wines. From its modest inaugural vintage of 800 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and 800 cases of Merlot in 1978, to its addition of Sauvignon Blanc in 1982, Duckhorn Vineyards has crafted a tradition of quality and excellence that continues today.