I never had a glass of wine until 1993 when I moved from Phoenix to Monterey CA for a job (I was 25 at the time). While having dinner with a group of co-workers in Carmel, someone ordered a bottle of merlot (for the record it was a bottle of Monticello Merlot from Napa - a 1989 I believe). Anyway, that bottle got me hooked on wine and merlot in particular. In the US I think merlot has received a bad rap. If made right it can be spectacular IMO. And Duckhorn Winery knows how to make it right. I first visited Duckhorn probably way back in 1994/1995 before they even had a wine tasting room. It was just a trailer on their same site as today. We joined as members immediately and have been drinking their merlot (and cabs and cab francs) for almost thirty years now. I have to guess I am one of their most tenured members. Bottle #7 is a Duckhorn 2017 Stout Merlot. The Stout vineyard is located at 1,700 ft on the Howell Mountain appellation in Napa. This wine retails for $100 and received a 91 from Wine Spectator (really the only source that I look to for ratings other than Parker). This particular bottle is 85% merlot and 15% cab. Not as great as their flagship Merlot - Three Palms - but still very good. Cheers!
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