2002 Pahlmeyer Merlot Napa Valley

"The 2002 vintage of Merlot is another gloriously rich, profuse elixir in the classic Pahlmeyer style. Within a structure similar to a French Pomerol, lies a classic California concentration of ripe, rich fruit." – Erin Green, Winemaker September 2004

Composition

96% Merlot
4% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critics

95 Points

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #201, June 2012

The 2002 Merlot is the ultimate Merlot in terms of pure, seductive prowess. It possesses a dense purple color in addition to a gorgeous perfume of espresso roast, melted fudge, black currants, cherries and subtle smoke as well as earth, great intensity, and full-bodied opulence, in a voluptuous, juicy, unctuously textured style that cascades over the palate with no hard edges. This is haute couture of Merlot. Moreover, while it has always been open and accessible, this 2002 will last for another 15-20 years given its concentration.

Pahlmeyer has long been one of my favorite wineries for both their red wines and Chardonnays. Both the 2002 red cuvees, made by Erin Green for proprietor Jayson Pahlmeyer, are performing fabulously. These wines typically have tremendously long lives, as evidenced by some older vintages in my cellar that are continuing to age beautifully. One can make a strong argument that Pahlmeyer produces the finest Merlot in California.

93 Points

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, May/June 2005

Full ruby-red. Roasted plum, blackberry, blueberry, licorice and bitter chocolate on the nose. Intensely flavored and sweet, with harmonious acidity framing the complex, slightly saline flavors of dark berries and game. Finishes with lovely lift and length, with the fine-grained tannins arriving late. A strong vintage for this bottling.

91 Points

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #157, February 2005

The big, rich, layered, complex, opulent 2002 Merlot boasts an opaque purple color along with a rich bouquet of black fruits intermixed with chocolate, cocoa, and smoke. A seriously endowed effort with wonderful sweetness, a sensual tactile impression, and a long, heady finish, it will drink well for a decade.

91 Points

James Laube, Wine Spectator, May 2005

A rich, concentrated yet elegant wine, with layers of mocha, currant and blackberry fruit. Tightens up on the finish, where the tannins flex their muscles. Intensity of the oak suggests short-term cellaring.

Winemaking

Winemaker:
Erin Green
Alcohol:
15.5%
Harvested:
September 27 to October 12, 2002
Bottled:
April 27, 2004
Released:
March 1, 2005

The grapes were given a five-day cold soak before fermentation, fermented on their own natural yeast, and aged nineteen months in 100% new French oak barrels. The wine was bottled with neither fining nor filtration.

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