About Us, Winemaking & Blog

Pièce de Résistance

By Cleo Pahlmeyer, October 24, 2012
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Photo: James Chiang

For years, the idea of producing a near-perfect wine gripped Jayson’s mind. He dreamed of a wine of incomparable quality, crafted from the best Pahlmeyer Cabernet Sauvignon from the vintage. Inky and rich, powerful yet irresistibly supple. No matter the volume. No matter the cost. The best of the best of Pahlmeyer - the Pièce de Résistance.

With the 2004 vintage, Winemaker Erin Green knew the time had come. Never before had the winery isolated Cabernet Sauvignon for a single-varietal bottling. Never before had a wine of such exquisite power and complexity graced our cellar. Never before had we allowed a full five years of aging before releasing a wine. And never before had we produced a wine in such an absurdly small volume. Less than one barrel was set aside for this tour de force. 19 cases. 228 bottles.

In 2009, a single bottle of 2004 Pièce de Résistance was offered at $300 to each of our most cherished supporters – and sold out instantly.

But winemaking is not for the short-sighted, and wine production does not turn on a dime. Even for our flagship Proprietary Red, vines must be at least five years old before they produce fruit with enough character to be considered for the Bordeaux-style blend, and after harvest there are three more years before the wine is released and the response to the winemaker’s craft is known.

The gamble on that debut vintage of Pièce de Résistance was still years from being proven wise or foolish, but in 2005 Jayson and Erin gathered their conviction and carried on. This time Erin selected the four choicest barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon and created 100 cases. In 2010, the 2005 vintage was offered to our Preferred Members, and quickly sold out once again.

This October, we released our fourth bottling - the 2008 vintage. And while some wine critics have gotten wind of the wine and requested samples for review, with just 100 cases produced, we have politely declined. Pièce de Résistance is a treasure for our loyal followers, our crowning achievement and tour de force. For us it is simply beyond a numerical rating or critical endorsement.

For those of you who have had the good fortune to taste this wine, we hope you will save a place in your cellar for each coming vintage.  For those of you who are not yet Preferred Members, we encourage you to join and relish the benefits - not the least of which is our annual Pièce de Résistance offering.