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Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2018

Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2018

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Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2018: A Captivating Expression of Napa Valley


Crafted by the esteemed Duckhorn Vineyards, the 2018 Napa Valley Merlot offers a captivating exploration of what this prized grape varietal can achieve in the renowned Napa Valley. Founded by Dan Duckhorn with a vision to create exceptional Merlots inspired by his Bordeaux travels, Duckhorn Vineyards remains committed to meticulous winemaking practices and sourcing from prime vineyard sites. The result? A luxurious and expressive Merlot that is sure to tantalise the taste buds.

Grape Composition and Vineyard Sourcing

This masterful blend goes beyond a single grape, showcasing the expertise of Duckhorn's winemakers. While Merlot takes centre stage at 82%, the inclusion of 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1.4% Cabernet Franc, 0.4% Petit Verdot, and a touch of Malbec (0.2%) adds remarkable depth and complexity to the flavour profile. The grapes are meticulously sourced from vineyards across the diverse appellations of Napa Valley, including Carneros, Oak Knoll, Calistoga, Yountville, and the estate's own vineyards. This allows the wine to capture the unique characteristics of each terroir, culminating in a truly captivating Merlot.

Vintage Conditions: A Recipe for Excellence

The 2018 growing season in Napa Valley provided near-perfect conditions for crafting exceptional wines. Mild spring and summer weather, coupled with the absence of extreme heat events, resulted in grapes achieving optimal ripeness. This translates into a beautifully balanced Merlot with vibrant fruit expression and exceptional structure.

Tasting Profile: A Symphony of Flavours

The Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2018 is a sensory journey from the very first pour. The captivating bouquet entices the senses with aromas of ripe cherry and black raspberry, interwoven with hints of sweet oak. As the wine graces the palate, its lush and expansive character unfolds. A symphony of flavours emerges, featuring juicy black plum, sweet and savoury notes reminiscent of rhubarb crumble and chocolate-covered raspberry. Subtle hints of graphite and clove add intriguing complexity, creating a truly captivating taste experience. The texture is equally impressive, boasting a supple mouthfeel and smooth, "dusty" tannins that lend structure without overwhelming the palate. The finish is long and vibrant, leaving a lasting impression that invites another sip.

Food Pairing Recommendations

The Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2018 is a versatile food pairing companion. Its robust yet balanced profile makes it a perfect match for a variety of dishes. Here are some delectable pairings to elevate your dining experience:

  • Roasted Meats: The rich fruit character and smooth tannins of this Merlot make it a perfect complement to roasted lamb, beef tenderloin, or duck breast.
  • Grilled Dishes: The smoky notes from grilling beautifully complement the subtle oak influence in the wine. Pair it with grilled ribeye steak, burgers, or grilled portobello mushrooms for a delightful combination.
  • Hearty Vegetarian Options: Don't shy away from pairing this Merlot with vegetarian fare. A lentil Shepherd's pie or portobello mushroom Wellington with a rich gravy create a harmonious match.
  • Cheese Pairings: Select cheeses with bold flavours that can stand up to the wine's structure. Consider aged cheddar, gruyère, or Gouda for a satisfying cheeseboard accompaniment.


The Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2018 is a testament to the winery's dedication to crafting exceptional Merlots. This captivating wine showcases the beauty of Napa Valley's diverse terroir and meticulous winemaking practices. With its enticing aromas, luxurious flavours, and long, vibrant finish, it offers a truly memorable drinking experience. So, uncork a bottle, savour the delightful flavours, and embark on a captivating journey through Napa Valley with every sip.


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