2003 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Howell Mountain Napa Valley

2003 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Howell Mountain Napa Valley

2003 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Howell Mountain Napa Valley

80 pts
 
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Napa Valley
2003

A bit of a sleeper vintage, tucked in between the superb 2001, 2002, and 2004 vintages. It wasn’t the easiest of growing seasons, but nevertheless, there are some excellent wines in 2003. Significant rain during the spring kept growers guessing, as they tried to adjust their vineyard management programs to match the conditions, and shatter was a problem. A moderate July was followed by a mid-August period of rain, followed by uneven temperatures that had harvest alternately starting and then stopping as everyone watched the weather and the fruit. Careful canopy management was important, and reading the weather was key to making the right decisions. Overall, summer was below average in terms of temperatures. As the harvest approached, the weather warmed up and dried out, and those who had gotten the canopies and fruit loads right were able to ripen a slightly smaller crop of very good fruit.

The most successful made wines that have been somewhat under the radar, being in the shadow of the other great years surrounding the vintage, and they are worth seeking out as they are relative bargains due to the overall impression of the vintage.

Key Dates

March
Heavy rainfall

June
Cooler temperatures

August
Sporadic rain

About Duckhorn Vineyards

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Producer Facts

Winery Name

  • Duckhorn Vineyards

Web Site

  • http://www.duckhorn.com/

Ownership/Management

  • Dan and Margaret Duckhorn

About Merlot

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Flavor Profile

  • Medium to full-bodied wines with flavors of black cherry, plum, and tobacco

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