2004 Pahlmeyer Merlot Napa Valley

Composition

87% Merlot
13% Cabernet Sauvignon

Vineyards

Critics

95 Points

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #168, December 2006

The 2004 Merlot reveals Pomerol-like aromatics of caramelized red and black fruits, toffee and spice as well as a big, creamy, opulent texture, and a full-bodied mouthfeel with no hard edges. The wine’s saturated ruby/purple color reveals no lightness at the edge. Wonderfully dense, rich, full, and incredibly sexy and long, this beauty is everything a Merlot should be. Enjoy it over the next 6-8 years.

Jayson Pahlmeyer has done as good a job with Merlot as anybody in Northern California.

95 Points

Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine, July 2007

While exaggerated ripeness has lately become the bane of too many wines, this highly ripened and downright opulent wine handles its alcohols with great aplomb and delivers layer upon layer of sweet and succulent ripe-cherry fruit, cocoa and lovely, creme brulee oak. It is full, fleshy and very well-balanced with an inviting sense of plushness backed up by perfectly integrated tannins, and its scant suggestion of finishing heat is made moot by its extraordinarily long fruit. Its show-stopping richness will no doubt invite early drinking, but its structure and depth signal great things ahead.

92 Points

James Laube, Wine Spectator, May 2007

Shows seductive aromas of rich currant, with mocha and espresso bean oak. Deep, complex, intense and concentrated. The long, full, persistent finish has firm, ripe tannins and lays the fruit and oak out in spades."

91 Points

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, May/June 2007

Bright ruby-red. Subtly complex nose melds blueberry, cassis, tar, licorice, wild spices and minerals. Intense berry flavors are firmed by lively acidity. Not yet especially nuanced but this one boasts a lovely tight core of fruit and appears to be built to age. Finishes firmly tannic, with strong fruit.

Winemaking

Winemaker:
Erin Green
Alcohol:
15.2%
Harvested:
September 9 to October 12, 2004
Bottled:
May 8, 2006
Released:
February 1, 2007

The grape clusters were hand-sorted, and once de-stemmed, the berries were sorted again by hand on the way to tank. After four to five days of pre-fermentation cold maceration in small open-top fermentors, the fruit began 100% native yeast fermentation. Two to three weeks later, the fruit was gently pressed and moved to barrel where it finished primary and secondary fermentations. The wine continued to age in French oak barrels for nineteen months. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

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