The Duckhorn Merlot Napa Valley Three Palms Vineyard 2014 was named the 2017 Wine of the Year in the Wine Spectator’s annual list of Top 100 wines. It was one of three Napa Valley wines to make the Top 10.
Duckhorn Vineyards was founded in Napa Valley in 1976, and merlot has been its specialty from the start. Since its first vintage, in 1978, the winery has used grapes from the Three Palms Vineyard, named for the trio of palms that grow in its midst. San Francisco socialite Lillie Hitchcock Coit owned the site in the late-19th century and planted the original palms. For Margaret and Dan Duckhorn, Three Palms was the anchor that helped them build their winery.
The Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines of 2017 are:
1. Duckhorn, Merlot Napa Valley Three Palms Vineyard 2014, $98, 3,170 cases made, Napa Valley
2. K, Syrah Walla Walla Valley Powerline Estate 2014, $45, 1,319 cases made, Walla Walla Valley, Wash.
3. Château Coutet, Barsac 2014, $37, 4,000 cases made, Bordeaux, France
4. Casanova di Neri, Brunello di Montalcino 2012, $65, 6,054 cases made, Tuscany, Italy
5. Château de St.-Cosme, Gigondas 2015, $43, 4,000 cases made, Rhône Valley, France
6. Domaine Huët, Vouvray Demi-Sec Le Mont 2016, $44, 2,000 cases made, Loire Valley, France
7. Château Canon-La Gaffelière, St.-Emilion 2014, $61, 4,083 cases made, Bordeaux, France
8. Meyer, Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014, $70, 1,200 cases made, Napa Valley
9. Pahlmeyer, Chardonnay Napa Valley 2015, $75, 2,500 cases made, Napa Valley
10. Booker, Oublié Paso Robles 2014, $80, 1,500 cases made, Paso Robles
These bottles were selected from a pool of more than 16,000 wines reviewed by Wine Spectator editors in the magazine’s blind tastings. Selections are based on four criteria: quality, value, availability (based on the number of cases either made or imported into the U.S.) and what Wine Spectator calls the “X-factor”— the excitement generated by the wine.
The full Top 100 list is at top100.winespectator.com and in print, with profiles for each wine, in the magazine’s December issue.