One of California’s legendary vineyards, Three Palms is revered for its history and its benchmark wines. The team at Duckhorn has crafted a vineyard-designated Merlot from this property since the inaugural vintage in 1978. Named for its three iconic palm trees, the warm, up-valley vineyard features lean soils that cause the vines to send their roots deep in search of nutrients, producing an intense, age-worthy wine with complex fruit and mineral layers.
The 2013 harvest was early and even, with a warm dry spring that brought early bud break and created ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set. In the weeks of early autumn, a moderate heat event followed by a period of perfect weather created a dream scenario for end-of-season ripening. Rain was not a factor, and for the second vintage in a row, the quality of the grapes was exceptional throughout Napa Valley.
The result? A riveting expression of Three Palms Vineyard Merlot, with a rich entry and pure and polished flavours of cherry, cassis, pomegranate, and blackberry. On the palate, these fruit elements play with layers of leather, wet river rock, eucalyptus, and black tea. Warm earthy notes on the finish and dense, fine-grained tannins provide wonderful length.
“In Napa Valley’s warm Mediterranean climate it’s easy to make big, ripe boring Merlot, wine devoid of personality. But in the right location, and with the right approach, it can deliver very fine wine, and in one special vineyard, truly wonderful wine, the best California Merlot there is: Duckhorn Vineyards’s Three Palms vineyard in Calistoga.”
“The Best California Merlot Ever”, Nick Passmore, Forbes, Dec 2015
“Launching forth with a beautiful, elegant bouquet of red berries and cedar spice, the new Three Palms is a classic in the making. Simultaneously rich and elegant, it offers complex layers of blueberry, baking spice, and mocha. Given the embedded structure in this wine, it will age gracefully for years to come and evolve into an even more extraordinary wine. Enjoy over the next 10 years. 2016-2026”
97 points, “Classic”, CaliforniaWineAdvisors.com
“Combines good structure with a supple texture, showing aromas of red currant and dark chocolate and layered flavours of cherry, spice and licorice. Drink now through 2028.”
92 points, Wine Spectator, Nov 2016
“An integrated, powerful wine from a famous northern Napa Valley site, this wine offers notes of baked plum and cherry wrap around the structured, spicy oak. Lingering accents of a pepper, clove and graphite grace the finish.”
92 points, Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, March 2017