2007 Duckhorn "Three Palms" Napa Valley Merlot
A tremendous Merlot, Duckhornís greatest since the 2005 and one of their best ever, over many years of crafting this wine. Feels soft and smooth and yet dusty and tannic all at once, while the flavors, of red and black cherries, blackberries, licorice, minerals and spices, are vast and succulent. A great Merlot, one of the successes of the vintage.
Once again taking its accustomed place among the very best Merlots of the vintage, Duckhorn's latest Three Palms bottling is a wonderfully supple and succulent wine that hits each and all of the varietal marks. It is rife with deep, ripe-cherry fruit and it is graced with careful oak and touches of tea, and it achieves the almost velvety feel of great Merlot even while being backed up with deftly placed tannin. It is starting to show a fine sense of layering, and it will do so even more as it matures, for it has the stamina and strength to improve for a decade and last for one more beyond that.
Duckhorn first bottled Three Palms as a single-vineyard wine in 1978. The warm vineyard site with its free-draining soils is distinctive for its elegantly red-fruited and minerally profile. It was blended with 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot and was aged in 99% new French oak for 18 months. From the winemaker: "A classic expression of Three Palms, this wine begins with enticing aromas of chocolate-covered cherries, earth, ginger spice and graham cracker pie crust before revealing a core of red-fruit dominated flavors highlighting red currant and sweet cherry. Supported by a broad, rich entry and additional layers of blueberry, plum, cardamom and coffee, this powerful Merlot has firm, robust tannins and will benefit from decanting or additional aging."