Duckhorn Vineyards’ Three Palms Vineyard Merlot!

Duckhorn Vineyards’ Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2012
$99.99 / bottle with 15% off 6-bottle case (net: $84.95 /bottle)

“The Best California Merlot Ever” according to Nick Passmore of Forbes Magazine!
Since the inaugural vintage in 1978, Duckhorn Vineyards has been proud to craft a vineyard-designate bottling from Three Palms. One of California’s first single-vineyard Merlots, this full-bodied wine reflects Three Palms’ unique terroir and has been a consistent benchmark for New World Merlot. 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 2012 Merlot is a classic expression of Three Palms Vineyard, with vibrant red fruit bursting through on the entry, followed by layers of licorice, wet stone and earth that reveal themselves on the mid-palate. Though the tannins are prominent, adding gravitas to this iconic Merlot, there is a lovely refinement to them that beautifully accentuates the flavors of blueberry, warm spice cake and Santa Rosa plum.

Excerpts from Nick Passmore’s write-up in Forbes Magazine below! Follow this link to read the whole piece!

In Napa Valley’s  Mediterranean climate it’s easy to make big, ripe boring Merlot, 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. This reaffirms what every winemaker knows in his or her heart: great wine is all about location, location, location.

Alex Ryan, CEO of Duckhorn, explains what makes Three Palms so special: “It’s a very, very rocky site, but in between the stones is a lot of loam and sand so it also has an element of nutritional value, so what you have is stress, but healthy vines. If you take that unique situation… In most Napa Valley vineyards you either have stony hillside vineyards that have stressed vines, or you have loamy, fertile, valley floor soils that make lush, nice wines but not intense wines. Here we have a unique blend of the two.”

Three Palms is today one of the most celebrated vineyards in Napa Valley. “The Uptons got really lucky when they picked this site.” Alex Ryan explains. “It was a cheap piece of property because it didn’t grow a lot of grass, so it wasn’t good for dairy and they were able to see through that and say ‘Yes, this may have some potential for grape vines that nobody else wanted to mess with because it was so difficult, so rocky, so expensive to manage. But, for luxury winemaking, it turned out to be the magic potion.”

In many ways Three Palms is not that dissimilar to many other high-end Napa Merlots: it has tons of lush ripe fruit, is certainly extracted but not overly so by Napa standards, has pronounced but ripe tannins that requires long aging, but all this you can find elsewhere. Three Palms goes beyond this with its unique heightened intensity.

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