(From 2000 Vintage) At first sniff an intriguing combination of smoked meat, raspberry jam, caramel, dried herbs and toasted oak awaken the olfactory senses. The varied scents will tempt you to taste and the flavors of chocolate, coffee, black cherry and blackberry seems to dominate the palate. Well integrated tannins balance with the ripe fruit and conclude with a lingeringfinish that is accented with sweet oak.
(From 2010 Vintage) Filled with lush red and black fruit and classic earthy undertones, this is a rich and weighty expression of Three Palms Vineyard, bursting with flavor and structure. The aromas are warm and inviting, highlighting dark cherry, plum, cocoa and sweet Asian spices. The palate is equally layered and expressive with pure, intense notes of ripe plum, currant, candied cherry, mocha and red licorice. This cellar-worthy wine will benefit from decanting in its youth.
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Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines(From 1999 Vintage) 5% Cabernet Sauvignon; 4% Petit Verdot; 2% Cabernet Franc. Taking ripeness as its central theme, this sweet, caramel-tinged wine makes good use of creamy oak while delivering a fair bit of direct cherry-like fruit. Richer to start than it is at the finish, it is fairly plush and mouthfilling, yet it tends to dryness at the end and shows just a hint of closing heat. Albeit wholly likeable in a direct and fairly tasty style, it is the least compelling wine of the current Duckhorn bunch.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines(From 2003 Vintage) 11% Cabernet Sauvignon; 7% Petit Verdot; 7% Cab. Franc. Of the three Duckhorn Merlots tasted this month, this one stands just a slight bit apart from the others by dint of the suggestions of mint, heather and dried herbs that bring a different twist of complexity to its aromas. It is, however, very much in step with its kin when it comes its ripeness and very rich, cherry-like fruit, and, but for an undisguised flare of finishing heat, it would join its siblings with a two-star award.