2008 Pahlmeyer Merlot Napa Valley

“Plum, cocoa and essence of roasted coffee beans mingle with blackberry, bing cherry, pomegranate, fresh raspberry compote and hints of lavender. Soft and plush yet solid in structure.” – Erin Green, Winemaker September 2010

Composition

91% Merlot
9% Cabernet Sauvignon

Vineyards

Critics

92 Points

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, May/June 2011

Good deep red-ruby. Blackberry and licorice aromas perked up by violet and spices. Juicy and moderately deep, with dark fruit flavors complicated by tobacco and cedar. Not a fat style for this bottling but boasts a solid acid/tannin spine and very good balance--not to mention fruit intensity.

91 Points

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #186, December 2009

One of the few world-class Merlots in Napa Valley has always come from Pahlmeyer, and the 2008 looks to be no exception. Inky purple-colored, the wine offers up chocolatey espresso/mocha/cocoa notes as well as plenty of plum, black cherry and blacker fruits. Medium to full-bodied, with silky tannins, surprising elegance, and good richness.

91 Points

Tim Fish, Wine Spectator, October 2011

Densely structured, yet loaded with rich and supple fruit. Offers black raspberry and Asian spice aromas and concentrated red currant, loamy earth and espresso flavors.

Winemaking

Winemaker:
Erin Green
Alcohol:
15.2%
Harvested:
September 24 to October 3, 2008
Bottled:
April 19, 2010
Released:
April 1, 2012

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 80% new French oak – a combination of Taransaud and St. Martin barrels – for eighteen months. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

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