It's official: You are hereby authorized to drink Merlot again, even if Miles, the snooty and star-crossed protagonist in Alexander Payne's 2004 film Sideways, decides not to join you.
Wine Spectator heaped praise on Duckhorn's Merlot Napa Valley Three Palms Vineyard 2014, naming it the 2017 Wine of the Year for its "elegant expression of Merlot, loaded with red fruit and spice flavors that are supported by medium-grained tannins." The celebrated bottle received a 95 rating—qualifying as a "classic"—and retails for $98. The full list of 100 features multiple wines from California, including bottles from the Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Mendocino County, and Paso Robles.
Located just east of the Silverado Trail in St. Helena, Duckhorn Vineyards welcomes visitors daily from 10am–4pm. Reservations are required, and given the prestige of winning Wine Spectator's top honor, you will want to plan your visit to the Napa Valley several weeks advance.