2007 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Three Palms Vineyard Napa Valley (in magnum) 2-Pack
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WE 94 points
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Three Palms Vineyard 2007 Three Palms Merlot

At the age of seven, Lillie Hitchcock Coit was rescued by a firefighter from a burning hotel. Years later, to repay her debt, she became the fire engine company's most prominent patron. Known for her philanthropy, legendary parties and devotion to the Knickerbocker Fire Engine Company #5, Lillie would leave significant marks on the Bay Area when she passed away.

The first came in the form of the Coit Tower, a slender 210-foot concrete column that rises atop Telegraph Hill, an ageless emblem on the San Francisco skyline. The second is Coit's Napa Valley residence, sadly left in disuse and ruin after the crash in 1929.

The Napa property was set on the rocky volcanic soils in the northeastern side of the valley created by the outwash of Selby Creek where it spills out of Dutch Henry Canyon. At the time of her death, the estate manor was dilapidated, but three lonely palm trees remained. Sixty years later, Coit's palms would become one of wine country's most legendary markers.

Fast-forward forty-five years. Dan Duckhorn was hatching a plan. He flew for Paris, then trained down to Bordeaux, where he'd spend the better part of a year studying both the Right and Left Banks of the world's greatest wine route. After each trip, Duckhorn would return to Napa, scouting the valley for vineyard opportunities that might offer First Growth potential. Finally, in 1978, Dan concluded his 18-month study by contracting for 15 acres of Merlot planted all around Lillie Hitchcock Coit's three palm trees. So began the story of one of the most sought after Bordeaux-style red wines in Napa Valley history.

Beginning in the late 1980s, every top steakhouse in America stood in line for its annual allocation of Duckhorn's Three Palms Merlot. As demand exploded and Duckhorn's direct mailing list grew in tandem, little by little, Three Palms became harder and harder to locate at retail. In short vintages, like the brilliant 2007 harvest -- what many collectors view as the finest Three Palms of the decade -- only a handful of wine shops were granted a small allocation of 750ml cases -- and not a single magnum. Until today.

In the most talked about growing season in twenty years in Napa Valley, the long, cool growing season provided for extended hangtime, providing for extravagant small berry concentration. The harvest began in October and would go on for two weeks, making for what most collectors have called the most voluptuous Three Palms Merlot in memory.

Deepest purple in color, with vibrant aromas of ripe plum, raspberry and black cherry, the attack is true to 2007 vintage form -- tremendously rich, voluminous and opulent, still buttressed by benchmark Right Bank structure. Particularly out of magnum, lay the 2007 Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot down for 6-8 years. Patience will pay dividends.

Just 60 magnums have been earmarked for WineAccess. $200 on release. Just $139/bottle on 2-packs today -- exclusively on WineAccess. But It gets better. Purchase a 2-pack and receive an invitation for a spot at one of the most sought after tables in Napa Valley. A $200 value, bring three friends to Duckhorn for a Three Palms afternoon you'll never forget.

Tasting Notes

2007 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Three Palms Vineyard Napa Valley (in magnum)
"A tremendous Merlot, Duckhorn's 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. Drink now and over the next six years, for freshness."
94 points -- Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast

"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."
93 points -- Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine

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