2014 Pahlmeyer Merlot Napa Valley

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About the Wine

We taste hundreds of wines a month and thousands of wines every year. It surprises us that more clients are not hip to California Merlot. The irony is that the same clients don't think twice about paying hundreds of dollars, or even thousands of dollars per bottle for a Merlot from Bordeaux!

Here's the secret: Merlot is one of the best value wines in California. Syrahs from California may hold first place.

Jason Pahlmeyer, a former trial attorney, launched the project in the early 1980's with the help of Randy Dunn. In 1986, the red blend received immediate critical acclaim from none other than Robert Parker. Later, Bob Levy and Helen Turley made the wines. David Abreu planted the vineyards. Today, Bibiana González Rave is head winemaker and oversees the Jayson and Wayfarer brands too.

This wine is a Bordeaux blend of 

93% Merlot
4% Petit Verdot
2% Malbec
1% Cabernet Sauvignon

85% new French oak for 20 months.

Tasting notes: This wine has black amethyst color and a nose of boysenberry, violets, vanilla and an appealing hint of dust. The velvety palate reveals juicy red cherry and raspberry fruit, backed with an earthy kick, gripping structure, and fully integrated oak. Distinctive dark, savory notes from the Petit Verdot highlight the lingering finish.


Blackberries, blueberries, forest floor and hints of Spanish cedar. Full-bodied and tight with firm and silky tannins and long and beautiful focus. Goes on for minutes. Terrific wine. Drink or hold. ~ 97pts, JS

It has a dense purple color...with a beautiful fruited nose of blackberry, plum, chocolate, mocha and espresso. The aromatics are killer and then the wine hits the palate with a medium to full-bodied lushness and an expression that says, “Kiss me!” This is a delicious, front-end loaded, full-bodied Merlot to drink over the next 15 or so years. ~94pts, WA


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