1997 Pahlmeyer Merlot

"Intense, deep, red-purple color. Hints of chocolate and black fruits in the nose. Despite its’ youth, the 1997 Merlot is forward and well integrated, with creamy, ripe fruit flavors, big tannins, super- concentrated with a long lingering full finish." – Helen Turley, Winemaker September 1999


85% Merlot
15% Cabernet Sauvignon


  • Napanook,
  • Rancho Chimiles,
  • Caldwell Vineyard,
  • Hossfeld Vineyard,
  • Moon Vineyard


96 Points

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #132, December 2000

Pahlmeyer's 1997 Merlot may be the finest Merlot ever produced in California... It offers gorgeous smoky, black cherry liqueur aromas mixed with melted fudge. The wine is unctuously-textured, super-concentrated, low in acidity, rich, and multilayered. This is a spectacular, hedonistic effort to drink over the next 15-20 years.

93 Points

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, May/June 2000

Saturated ruby-red. Explosive aromas of black raspberry, cassis, graphite, tar, minerals and toffee. Lush, superripe and very deep, with almost confectionary sweetness. Thick but not heavy. Very long and lush on the aftertaste, with fine tannins buried in fruit. Compelling Merlot with great sex appeal.


Helen Turley
February 1, 2000

The grapes for our 1997 Merlot were carefully chosen from a small handful of prestigious vineyards. The lots for this wine were made from fully ripe grapes, brought to the winery in small bins and de-stemmed only. The whole berries are then fermented with wild yeasts. The Merlot is aged in a combination of new (80%) small French oak barrels, and one-year-old small French oak barrels for approximately 18 months and then bottled, unfined and unfiltered.

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