Duckhorn excels at merlot, that’s no surprise. They have been one of the very few wineries who understood its potential and stuck with this often maligned grape for decades. Good thing, too. The Rector Creek iteration starts with an impressive viscosity, as if it’s been in the cellar already for a decade, making it smooth and seamless. In the glass it’s all intense blackberry, blueberry black cherry, plum and boysenberry notes with back notes of subtle tobacco, mocha, vanilla and graham cracker crust. This all-estate fruit is comprised of 98% merlot, and 2% cabernet sauvignon, and aged 18 months in all French oak, 75% of which was new. This is a stellar tribute to merlot and a defining reason why merlot should never have been so uncared for by the wine industry as a whole.
ORIGIN: Yountville, Napa Valley
PRICE: $100/750 ml
SCORE: 93 POINTS