2012 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #1175179 97 points James Suckling

 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.  (7/2015)

93 points Wine Spectator

 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)  (11/2014)

90-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 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)  (5/2014)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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)  (10/2014)

91 points Vinous

 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)  (12/2014)

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- 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.

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.


- 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.
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.
Alcohol Content (%): 15.2