2013 Duckhorn "Three Palms Vineyard" Napa Valley Merlot
This very deep and involving wine is definitively Merlot in its unwavering focus on concentrated black cherries, yet it is far more than simply fruity and reveals lovely, sweet oak support with gentle notes of fresh loam. It has plenty of weight but is carefully constructed and matches richness with considerable refinement, and, if it progressively firms and tightens a touch as it crosses the palate, it exhibits remarkable stamina and fruity strength. It serves to remind that top-flight Merlot deserves a special place in the cellar, and it takes its accustomed position among those at the head of the varietal class.
This Merlot-dominated blend reminds us why Duckhorn earned its reputation as one of California's preeminent sources for Merlot. The 2013 vintage had great weather and was perfect for making a rich, seamless, structured wine. Winemaker notes: "The 2013 growing season yielded a riveting expression of Three Palms Vineyard Merlot, with a rich entry and pure and polished flavors of cherry, cassis, pomegranate, and blackberry. On the palate, these gorgeous fruit elements mingle with complex layers of leather, wet river rock, eucalyptus and black tea. Warm earthy notes finesse the finish while dense, fine-grained tannins provide wonderful length."