Co-founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has spent forty years establishing itself as one of North America’s premier producers of Napa Valley wines. From its modest inaugural vintage of 800 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and 800 cases of Merlot in 1978, to its addition of Sauvignon Blanc in 1982, Duckhorn Vineyards has crafted a tradition of quality and excellence that continues today.
The quality of Duckhorn Vineyards wines has always been based on a commitment to selecting the finest fruit. Whether carefully sourcing grapes from top sites in the Napa Valley or committing itself to establishing a world-class estate vineyard program, the winery was built on the belief that great wines begin in the vineyard.
2014 Duckhorn Three Palms Vineyard Merlot
Since the inaugural vintage in 1978, Duckhorn has been proud to craft a vineyard-designate bottling from Three Palms which has become a consistent benchmark for New World Merlot. Named for its three iconic palm trees, the warm, up valley vineyard features lean soils that cause the vines to send their roots deep in search of nutrients, producing an intense, age-worthy wine with complex fruit and mineral layers. Three Palms is covered by volcanic stones, which absorb the sun’s heat during the day and radiate the heat back to the vines at night, protecting against frost and helping to ripen the fruit.
Wine Spectator 95 Points: Soft and layered, this perennially impressive vineyard-designate speaks highly of the variety, showing balanced offerings of plum, dark cherry, leather and spice. A smoky oak character lies beneath the fruit, complementing it well, while an expansive tannic presence supports the wine’s overall breadth and depth. Big boned, this is built to age yet entirely enjoyable now.
86% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot; Aging & Oak: 18 months in oak, 100% French Oak, 75% New Oak, 25% Neutral