Wino Wednesday: Duckhorn Vineyards 2004 Napa Valley Merlot

Duckhorn Napa Valley 2004 Review | The Little Red Heart

Review: Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot

Technical Specs:

Varietal: Merlot

Vintage: 2004

Appellation: Napa Valley, California

Alcohol Content:14.5%

Price: If I recall correctly $55

One of Cody’s (my husband) professors took the whole class out for beers after the final class of the semester. I did not expect him to be home anytime soon. I was what you call bored and it was painfully obvious to me that being a forced stay-at-home-wife sucks. Well it sucks for me right now because I am not allowed to work. If you know me then you know that I REALLY enjoy working, my tune to the stay-at-home-wife may change later in my life, nobody knows.

So what does a girl do, she opens a bottle of wine she was saving for a special occasion. That is right, no special occasion and I opened it anyway. Saving wine for “special occasions” reminds me of buying clothes for special occasions. Seriously, YOLO (you only live once)!

I bought this bottle before I worked for Hugo’s Wine & Spirits because I went to a Winemakers Dinner at Sanders  1907 in Grand Forks, ND. Every few months Sanders has these dinners that you have to purchase a ticket for in advance. Duckhorn Vineyard was the winery for the event that I went to with my mom. The tickets were $80 for a 5 course meal including LOTS of wine. In my opinion it was totes worth my $80.

The round of appetizers come around accompanied by Duckhorn Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc. For me not so blown away so I was able to avoid drinking to much to begin with, others were not so lucky. The next course was… what am I thinking, honestly this dinner took place sometime in Fall/Winter 2009, I do not remember what the menu was. What I DO remember is that I was waiting on baited breathe for the dessert, Chocolate Decadence, a torte made with Grand Marnier , topped with a brandy raspberry puree and chocolate cognac sauce. This was paired with the Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot and it was beyond delicious. Chocolate and Merlot are made for each other.

Wow..back to my review but you can tell now how excited I was for this bottle.

I opened this bottle with only this memory in mind, went to the kitchen and grabbed a piece of B.T. McElrath Super Red Chocolate  to try to replicate the memory but while chillin’ in my yoga pants.


It was beyond bad it was a Napa Valley Vinegar. This was the first bottle since the move that has been bad, I say this because all of my wine was stored in a Uhaul, late in August, for a week due to the fact that my previous landlords in Grand Forks are scum of the earth slumlords. Omega Properties, LLC if you were wondering.

What can a girl do? Well first off whenever I drink a wine that has gone bad I always trick Cody into trying it and seeing the face of horror before I tell him, “oh, yeah that is bad.” Now what you really do is toss it. Yes, this delicious bottle of wine that I so was looking forward to drinking had indeed been damaged to the point of undrinkability.

Contrary to popular belief there are many things that can make a bottle of wine taste off, bad, weird, etc. What went wrong with my particular bottle was the heat of the Uhaul pushing the bottle of wine through its aging process. The rapid aging ends with a bottle that falls apart and tastes mostly of vinegar.

This why storage of your wine is crucial. These are a few hard and fast rules to follow when storing your wine, whether that collection be 10,000 bottles or 30.

1. Wine must be kept someplace cool

2. No direct sunlight.

3. Bottles should be lying down or upside down, preferably not upright.

If storage is an issue, grab some wine boxes and place you wines upside down in the box and store in a cool place.

I cannot give you a fair assessment of this wine, so to be fair here is a review of the same bottle of wine from Wine Enthusiast by expert Steve Heimoff.

Let me know in the comments below about your worst wine experience!



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