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Professional Ratings: 93 Wine Enthusiast, 93 Connoisseurs' Guide, 91 Wine & Spirits
Region: Napa Valley, California
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Style: Smooth & Supple
Alcohol By Volume: 14.5%
Item no. 98853
Three Palms Vineyard is legendary in the world of California Merlot—and for good reason. A hot site with free-draining soils, Three Palms consistently delivers focused red fruit flavors balanced by an austere minerality, which contributes to elegant aging potential. The 2006 Three Palms Vineyard Merlot delivers all the vibrant fruit one would expect, with layers of red currant, raspberry and black cherry underscored by elements of piecrust, strawberry, caramel and wet stone. The tannins are dry and elegant, leading to a long, jammy finish.
The 2006 growing season was marked by a very mild summer with a mid-July heat spike that accelerated ripening. Mild temperatures continued throughout the fall allowing for a moderately paced harvest. The long growing season brought complex and intense flavor and aroma development.
75% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
An extraordinarily rich, tannic and dry wine, which despite its big structure is relieved by potent flavors of cherries, blackberries, plum and cedar. It's a complex, well-crafted wine that should develop in the bottle at least through 2014.
A long-time winner when it comes to Merlot, Duckhorn still ranks among the best. Rich, ripe and juicy with plenty of vanillin oak sweetening its way, this well-extracted offering shows off the varietal's supple side and yet sports a fairly firm underpinning of grippy young tannins. While it has just enough frontal richness to allow early drinking with heartier cuts of beef, this wine will show far better if given a chance to develop, and it should be left alone for four or five years.
Merlot thrives in the rocky soils of this famed vineyard in southern Calistoga; Duckhorn purchases this fruit from a block that was replanted in 1993 and '94. This 2006 is a sleek, juicy merlot with red fruit flavors of cranberries and cherry wrapped in a plush blanket of new oak. The fruit is tart, with edges of mint, the oak as sweet as caramel, but rather than falling to either extreme, the wine strikes a smooth, clean balance, ready for roast duck.