2016 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot Three Palms Vineyard
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 Content: 93% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec; Cooperage: 100% French oak - 75% new, 25% neutral
Once again, the revered Three Palms Vineyard has yielded a benchmark expression of New World Merlot, with a complex, age-worthy structure, silken tannins, and radiant fruit. On the nose, aromas of huckleberry, plum, Bing cherry, cinnamon and rose petals are underscored by hints of cocoa and sweet French oak. As it evolves in the glass, flavors of cardamom, cranberry, blueberry and figs are revealed, as well as elements of earthy minerality that add drama to the long, complex finish.
2016 offered another near-perfect vintage in Napa Valley! While much-needed rain during the winter months helped to replenish our reservoirs, a dry spring and summer, with moderate temperatures and plenty of sunshine, led to another early harvest. Our first white grapes came into the winery on August 3rd, with the remainder of our whites following at an even, steady pace. A few weeks of ideally timed cool weather in early September provided additional hangtime, yielding bright acids and beautifully articulated flavors in our early ripening reds. Warm, dry weather for the remainder of the season allowed the rest of our grapes to develop rich, concentrated flavors, with polished tannins and wonderful complexity.