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2017 Duckhorn Merlot ‘Three Palms Vineyard’ Calistoga, Napa Valley

#15 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2020

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Winemaker’s Notes: Since our inaugural 1978 vintage, we have been proud to craft a vineyard-designate Merlot from the legendary Three Palms Vineyard. Named for its three iconic palm trees, this warm, up-valley vineyard features lean soils that cause the vines to send their roots deep in search of nutrients, yielding a profoundly intense and age-worthy wine with complex fruit and mineral layers. As a testament to its status as the benchmark for New World Merlot, in 2017, Wine Spectator honored our 2014 Three Palms Vineyard Merlot as “Wine of the Year.”

Varietal Composition: 100% Estate fruit - 91% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot

Tasting Notes: Once again, the famed Three Palms Vineyard has yielded a fascinating and full-bodied Merlot. Luxurious aromas of black cherry, plum, raspberry, cedar and wet slate rise from the glass where they mingle with hints of chocolate and sweet baking spices. On the palate, dusty tannins add nuance and sophistication to a round, fleshy texture, with flavors of black and red fruit, fig and iron-rich earthy notes drawing the wine to a long, resonant finish.

Production: The 2017 growing season began with abundant winter rains, followed by a warm, dry spring that led to a perfectly timed budbreak. In addition to replenishing the water table, the early season rains produced robust canopies, which provided invaluable shade during a week-long heat event that kicked harvest into gear during the last week of August. This was followed by a much-needed cooldown that allowed the vines to recuperate, while also giving us extra hangtime for flavor development and tannin resolution. We harvested throughout September and into early October, with the grapes showing lovely ripeness and quality, yielding plush, polished and wonderfully complex wines. 


Wine Spectator - #15 Top 100 of 2020 - "Powerful, rich and complex, with a refined mix of currant, dark cherry and plum tart flavors backed by suave, medium-grained tannins. Well-defined slate and loamy notes stretch out nicely on the finish, with black olive hints. Drink now through 2027."

Wilfred Wong - "The multifaceted 2017 Duckhorn Vineyards Three Palms Merlot is a standout wine. This wine deftly combines black fruits and graphite in its aromas and flavors. Enjoy its firm and expansive palate with a juicy, grilled ribeye topped with minced shallots and many grinds of whole black peppercorns. "

Connoisseurs' Guide - "The three palms at this vineyard line the valley floor at a seam of rocks between St. Helena and Calistoga. That rocky soil has proven to be a great medium for the roots of merlot vines, allowing them to ripen cool fruit in the midst of a hot place. This 2017 is luscious, layering high tones of strawberries with darker depths of black cherries and herbs. Its richness would be delicious with rare filet mignon. "

More Information
Country USA - California
Region Napa Valley
Vintage 2017
Winery Duckhorn Vineyards
Grape Varietals Merlot Blend
Size 750 milliliter
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