2005 Napa Valley Merlot Three Palms Vineyard

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94 points - Top 100 Cellar Selections from 2008
Wine Enthusiast
Duckhorn’s Three Palms bottling is one of the oldest and most consistent Merlot vineyard designations in California and this is a classic example. The wine always is very tannic. But the ‘05 is dry and rich and complex in mineral-laden cherries and currants, with just the right application of new oak. You can decant it now for several hours and enjoy with a dramatically charred streak, but it will develop beautifully through 2011, at least.

96 points
Wine Review Online
More tightly knit and less generous at the moment than Duckhorn's estate Merlot, the Three Palms is no less compelling and probably is a better candidate for long-term cellaring, which isn't to say it can't deliver immediate pleasure now if decanted well ahead of serving. Those aren't recommendations often associated with California Merlot, but this one's big, bold and complex, with the structure of a Cabernet. It shows layers of dark berry fruit, hints of anise and vanilla bean, mocha and cedar, and uncommon depth and weight without being jammy. A smashing wine.

  • 2005 Napa Valley Merlot Three Palms Vineyard