Tom's blog

Tasting No. 1

My wife and I had some neighbors and their adult children over for a steak dinner the other night. The neighbor wanted to take us all for dinner on the town, but I suggested instead a dinner at our house. She would buy Kobe steaks and I would provide the wine. I knew this would be a better and cheaper dinner than picking up a restaurant tab for six people. Plus, we love to entertain.

I pulled out several aged California cabernet sauvignons from Mt. Veeder and Episode and a 2003 Clos de Marquis from Bordeaux. None of them really impressed me, but then one of our guests, an oenophile from Chicago, mentioned that the 2014 Duckhorn Three Palms Vineyard Merlot had received the Wine Spectator's top wine in a list of 100 from all over the world.

Then, I remembered I had one in the cellar. So, we poured it and clearly it was the best wine of the evening. I can't remember the last time a merlot made number one on the magazine's list. Ever since the movie, "Sideways," merlot has struggled to get recognized. But the Three Palms, ever one of the best made, was deserving of the award. It was very complex and full bodied with layered dark fruit, spice, cedar, anise and a finish that just wouldn't die. But that's been the case for years.

Congratulations to Duckhorn.