I had a particularly rough day last Tuesday. In lieu of flowers, my husband brought home two unusual wines meant as little amusements, diversions from the day's convulsion. The first failed horribly as a wine, though its vegetal astringency did succeed in completely eclipsing all sourness I was feeling.
The second was this Duckhorn. The best Merlot I've ever had—that wasn't true Bordeaux—was a Duckhorn, though I hadn't had it in years. This one didn't disappoint. It was a deep violet-red, with a spicy, brambly nose that promised dark and meaty fruit. It delivered: smoky and chewy, with more dark bramble fruit, plum, and spice. Voluptuous, but not Rubenesque; strong, with a long finish.