Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Duckhorn Vineyards 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate (Napa Valley)

Duckhorn Vineyards

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate
(Napa Valley)

The mantra around Duckhorn is “control your own vineyards.” Those are the words of a wise man because by owning your own parcels of land, you keep a grip on the entire winegrowing-winemaking process. Just as important, it is the single-most element needed to express place-of-origin in your wines.

Duckhorn now controls more than 50 percent of the vineyards it uses for its myriad of wines; and subsequently, has released several single-vineyard wines from some of its holdings. I think that’s great. But although I loved this 2003 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon, I have to quibble that it’s not a wine that shows any sense of place because the fruit from three of Duckhorn’s vineyards, were blended into the assemblage.

Winemaker Mark Beringer, to his credit, also makes wines from each of the trio of wonderful vineyards that went into this wine. And I might hold out for those three from the Patzimaro Vineyard at the base of Spring Mountain, Rector Creek from Yountville, and Monitor Ledge located at the southwest corner of Larkmead Lane and the Silverado Trail south of Calistoga.

But please don’t misconstrue dear reader, I know this review is sounding like a backhanded compliment and it’s not intended to be. It’s a wonderful wine onto itself. There’s lots of mint and dark chocolate aromas (from Patzimaro I suspect) and on the palate, the wine is silky with delicious fruit, and fine-grained tannins to balance it. It’s also young, so hold onto it for a couple of years and it will reward you over the next quarter-century.

The wine was fermented for 20 months in 100 percent new French oak. The listed alcohol is 14.5 percent and there were 2,640 cases produced.

Reviewed January 19, 2007 by Alan Goldfarb.

Other reviewed wines from Duckhorn Vineyards


The Wine

Winery: Duckhorn Vineyards
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Napa Valley
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (90%), Merlot (10%)
Price: 750ml $90.00

Review Date: 1/19/2007

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.