Pahlmeyer has long been justly famous for his Merlot, and this 2015 release shows why. Robert Parker sums this wine up perfectly in The Wine Advocate with “There are few truly profound Merlots being made in California, but Pahlmeyer has consistently made some of the best. I still have some that are 20+ years old and aging magnificently. I suspect that the last three vintages that they made were better than anything I bought 20+ years ago” This Merlot is loaded with chocolate, blackberry and dark cherry fruit combined with a rich and voluptuous mouthfeel and texture. If we had to pick one Merlot which sums up our favorite style from the Napa Valley year in and year out – this baby is it!
Jayson Pahlmeyer's mission from the outset has been clear: “industrial strength wines.” His megawatt personality is reflected in his wines, which regularly push the ripeness envelope. An absolute contrarian to the traditional “wine as a meal complement” philosophy, Jayson wants wines that are a meal unto themselves. The critics have noted his success with Robert Parker commenting “Things just seem to get better and better at Pahlmeyer, a long-standing, brilliant, remarkably consistent source for one of Napa's finest Merlots, Chardonnays, and Pinot Noirs.” There’s no question that these are wines that are built for maximum palate impact, but there’s substance behind the flash. While the grapes are picked ultra-ripe, they’re not out of balance. With Bibiana González Rave at the winemaking helm, the wines have never been better, and the Wayfarer project in Fort Ross is on the brink of becoming a new icon.
There are few truly profound Merlots being made in California, but Pahlmeyer has consistently made some of the best. I still have some that are 20+ years old and aging magnificently. I suspect that the last three vintages that they made were better than anything I bought 20+ years ago. The 2015 Merlot is 100% Merlot, but the crop level was off by 50%-60% because of the horrendous flowering that makes 2015 a relatively tiny crop in both Napa and Sonoma. This is a big, fleshy, rather hefty and chewy style of Merlot with loads of chocolate, blackberry, cassis, extraordinary opulence, voluptuous texture (as you might expect) and terrific ripeness without going over the edge.