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1986 Duckhorn "Three Palms" Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #935020 Connoisseurs Guide

 If one looks at the technical data for this wine, it is less ripe than the ’85, but its character is fuller, richer, more opulent in the nose and at the center of its flavors. And, to our taste, it has aged extremely well. Because of its acidity, we would drink it up before the fruit fades and the typical sour edge of the older wines creeps in, but make no mistake, this is first rate Merlot in its middle years, and it is one of our favorites from the tasting.  (10/2002)

Wine Spectator

 Tight, tart and hard on the palate, a bit on the oaky side, but there is also good concentration of cassis and cedar aromas and flavors right through the finish.  (7/1989)

K&L Notes

Duckhorn has exclusive rights to this epic vineyard, an 83-acre, volcanic-stone site located in an alluvial fan created by Selby Creek. It's rocky as all get out, and the vines root deep and wide to access nutrients. The stones absorb the sun's heat and keep the vines protected during the frost season. The 1986 vintage is from the original planting, before phylloxera caused the owners to do an entire replant in the '90s.

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Price: $79.99
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- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.