2005 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Merlot
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Merlot from their holdings on Atlas Peak has fresh brambleberry, mulberry and mocha-infused fruit, medium to full body, excellent acidity, and wonderful vibrancy and vigor. It is youthful at age 10. The alcohol level is listed at 15.2%, but again, it is completely hidden by the wine’s wealth of concentration. This wine can be drunk now, but promises to hold and even evolve for another 10-15 years. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good red-ruby. Dark fruit aromas complicated by violet, bitter chocolate and minerals; more complex than the young 2006. Tightly wound but already sexy, with fresh acidity and underlying minerality giving the dark fruit flavors excellent definition. This seems distinctly sweeter than the 2006 owing to its early harmoniousness, but is actually lower in pH and higher in acidity, according to Jayson Pahlmeyer. (ST)
This brash and highly ripened take on Merlot will never be accused of restraint, and, for some, its extravagant display of caramelly oak and very sweet fruit may be too much of a good thing. While we shamelessly confess to liking its unbridled richness, we do wish that it showed just a bit more control, but it will make a good partner to appropriately full-flavored stews and braised meats, and it will develop well for four of five years. It is just enough deeper than Pahlmeyer's "Jayson" to earn its higher rating.
Deeply structured and brooding, with smoky black currant and mineral aromas and firm but layered blackberry, cedar and Asian spice flavors that finish with chewy tannins.