This continues to be a benchmark for Napa merlots for me with soft and velvety tannins, earth, mushroom and meat character. White truffle too. Unique nose. Full body and a juicy, long, long finish. Drink or hold.
An unapologetically plump and flamboyant style that offers pure pleasure. Blackberry and spicy toast aromas lead to rich, complex flavors of black cherry and mocha, with a hint of dry herb. The finish lasts forever. Drink now through 2020. (TF)
Good red-ruby. Slightly jammy aromas of dark berries, chocolate and graphite. Sweet, plush and broad, with mouthfilling flavors of dark cherry, cassis, cocoa powder and caramel. Not especially brisk or sharply delineated but finishes with sufficient energy, ripe tannins and very good sweetness and length. (ST)
Often one of the top three or four Merlots made in California is the 2012 Merlot (91% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon). This has always been a winner and continues to be so, and probably no winery in California has had such a long succession of brilliant Merlots as Jayson Pahlmeyer. He has had some brilliant talent working with him over the years, including one of the first jobs Helen Turley took, followed by one of her assistants Erin Green. This wine exhibits dense plum/ruby/purple color, plenty of mocha, cherry jam and cassis. I wouldn’t say it’s one of their all-time great Merlots, but it’s top-flight. Very rich, it shows a broad spectrum of flavors and an expansive mouthfeel. Drink it over the next decade. (RP)
White truffle, smoke, licorice, tobacco and iron are some of the notes that emerge from the 2012 Merlot. Today, it is the wine's ferrous/savory notes that are most prominent. On the palate, the wine is a bit less generous, with firm tannins that remain unyielding. Readers need to give the 2012 at least a year or two in bottle to soften. Dollops of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon round out the blend. This is a fabulous set of wines from Pahlmeyer. Jayson Pahlmeyer's daughter, Cleo, is now running the show. The 2012s are the first wines Kale Anderson made from start to finish here, and they are superb. As is the case throughout the valley, the 2012s are plump and fruit-driven in style, while the 2013s show a little more acidity along with darker tonalities of fruit. All of these wines are made in a rich, extracted style that typically requires a bit of bottle age for best results. (AG)
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