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Professional Ratings: 89 International Wine Cellar
Region: Napa Valley, California
Style: Smooth & Supple
Alcohol By Volume: 14.1%
Item no. 106001
The 2006 Merlot is a single-vineyard wine from the Duncan family's Soda Canyon Ranch in Napa Valley. It has a dark ruby color and a nose of black cherry and dark chocolate. On the palate, it is spicy and full-bodied, with a long finish of cedar and berry fruit.
Good deep red-ruby. Black fruits, licorice and menthol on the brooding, rather inexpressive nose. Juicy, fruit-driven and bright but with only moderate depth and flesh. Quite primary but it comes across as a bit stunted, with the tannins currently cutting off the fruit. Winemaker Baron described 2006 as a difficult vintage for merlot owing to the July heatwave, which resulted in an uneven veraison "The challenge was to get enough maturity without exaggerated alcohol," he explained. Incidentally, the 2005 merlot, which I rated 89 last fall, merited a solid 90 points in March, as some intriguing minerality was emerging, and the wine was offering a bit more sweetness and spine than my earlier sample. Range: 87-89