1996 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #310290 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1996 Merlot (3,000 cases) is a worthy rival. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, this blend of 93% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc tips the scales at a heady 14.6% alcohol. Could it be better than the 1997? The wine is opaque black/purple-colored, with a knock-out nose of plums, black cherries, chocolate, raspberries, licorice, and toasty new oak. Viscous in the mouth, with superb purity, this is a riveting, mind-boggling Merlot that sets a new reference point for this varietal in California. It can be drunk now, but has the potential to last for 15 or more years.  (12/1998)

92-94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Very deep saturated ruby. Vibrant aromas of boysenberry and blackberry. Silky and rich in the mouth, with terrific texture and depth of flavor. Berry fruit complicated by hints of shoe polish and tar. Lovely restrained sweetness and harmonious acidity. Extremely long, dynamic aftertaste.  (6/1998)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Impeccably balanced, remarkably complex and concentrated, with layers of currant, cedar, plum and blackberry. Turns plush and chocolaty on the finish, where the flavors soar on. Best from 2000 through 2006.  (2/1999)

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Varietal:

Merlot

- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
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