2009 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
This cellar-worthy Bordeaux-like expression offers a mix of cedar-laced tobacco, dried berry, loamy earth and herbal notes. Young and tightly wound, this unfolds slowly and gracefully, and looks like an ideal choice to lay down. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Best from 2014 through 2028. (JL)
*Two Stars* Although very much showing the winery's predictable predilection to ripeness, Pahlmeyer's newly released red blend is an immense, wonderfully well-filled wine that is as long on juicy fruit as it is ripe and rich in oak, and its themes of black cherries, root beer and sweet loamy soils seem to grow more intense as it crosses the palate. Some will find it too rich and outgoing, but this one is all Californian in style and shows why Napa Valley is so envied by many.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Red Blend emerges from the glass with freshly cut flowers, mint, spices, minerals and pure, crystalline, dark red fruit. This is a gorgeous wine endowed with remarkable finesse. The style is weightless, elegant and totally refined. I especially like the way the wine fleshes out in the glass. The 2009 is 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021. (AG)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(a five-variety Bordeaux blend based on 82% cabernet sauvignon): Good medium ruby. Wild aromas of crushed berries, lavender and chocolate complicated by pepper and leather; suggests a rather wide range of ripeness. Considerably denser and fatter than the '09 merlot, with a youthfully medicinal character to the plum, kirsch and chocolate flavors. Finishes with an herbal edge and very good persistence. Will this retain verve as it gains in texture with time in bottle? (ST)