Alex Ryan, CEO of Duckhorn, explains what makes Three Palms so special: â€œItâ€™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.â€
Three Palms is today one of the most celebrated vineyards in Napa Valley. â€œThe Uptons got really lucky when they picked this site.â€ Alex Ryan explains. â€œIt was a cheap piece of property because it didnâ€™t grow a lot of grass, so it wasnâ€™t good for dairy and they were able to see through that and say â€˜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.â€
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.