2011 Pahlmeyer Merlot Napa Valley

Evoking a dark berry coulis brushstroke, this Merlot presents a nearly black core with a shimmering ruby edge. The palate is complex and layered, with notes of wild blackberry, sandalwood, brown butter and orange peel. A gorgeous mouth-feel showcases an alluring shale-like minerality and fresh acidity on a firm bed of sweet tannins.

Composition

85% Merlot
13% Cabernet Sauvignon
2% Malbec

Vineyards

Critics

94+ Points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, January 2014

"One of the most beautiful wines of the year, the 2011 Merlot is endowed with tremendous energy, much of it because of the high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and a reliance of fruit from mountain sites rather than the valley floor, which simply proves just how great this overlooked vintage is in the right spots. Graphite, smoke, tar, licorice and plum notes meld into the finish. This is a knockout wine from Pahlmeyer. The 2011 will drink well early but it has more than enough depth to drink well for a number of years."

Winemaking

Winemaker:
Kale Anderson
Alcohol:
15.2%
Harvested:
October 20 to November 2, 2011
Bottled:
May 31, 2013
Released:
February 18, 2014

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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