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Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2018

Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2018

” There is no recipe or formula. My job is to let the vineyards speak and convey the soul of the wine.”

– Renée Ary, Winemaker at Duckhorn Vineyards


This Merlot comes from our estate vineyards throughout Napa Valley, including our Suscol Springs Ranch in the cooler southeastern reaches. Grapevines at our Suscol Springs Ranch have to struggle through rocky soils—a beneficial stress that yields smaller berries of great concentration and supple tannins. We also include grapes from our warm, nutrient rich valley floor vineyard in Rutherford. The diversity of these Merlot vineyard sites enables us to craft a wine that highlights the best of the varietal; deep fruit flavors, silky mouthfeel, bright acidity, and refined elegant tannins.

The 2018 growing season kicked off with plentiful winter rainfall to replenish the soils. Steady vine growth and berry development progressed evenly throughout the summer months. Overall, the vintage was cooler than usual and grapes reached peak maturity with balanced acidity and deep fruit flavors.




Renée Ary was promoted to winemaker for Duckhorn Vineyards in 2014 after spending 11 years honing her craft, refining her gifted palate and mastering the Duckhorn Vineyards style. Her approach balances artistry, science and a deep respect for the viticultural side of winemaking.

Raised on the East Coast, Renée moved to California to attend Saint Mary’s College and earn a degree in chemistry and art. Winemaking became Renée’s passion, career and way of life when she started in the laboratory of Robert Mondavi Winery. She gained hands-on experience during her 4 years there while augmenting her understanding of winemaking with classes at UC Davis and Napa Valley College.

In August of 2003, Renée joined Duckhorn Vineyards under then winemaker, Mark Beringer. From Mark, Renée gained a deeper knowledge of farming, viticulture and the intricacies of Duckhorn’s Estate program. Renée learned every detail of production moving from lab manager to enologist to assistant winemaker to associate winemaker in charge of Duckhorn’s Sauvignon Blanc and Monitor Ledge Vineyard wines.