Everything about Pahlmeyer Napa Valley California Cabernet Sauvignon wine producer profile, wine tasting notes, wine and food pairing tips, best vintages, history of the property, information on their wine making techniques, terroir and soil. You can also read about the Grapes used for California wine and learn about the extensive History of Napa Valley, California Wines
Pahlmeyer History, Overview
The estate was founded by Jason Pahlmeyer in the early 1980’s. Owning a winery was not the original goal for Jason Pahlmeyer. His intentions was more on the real estate development side. But as you know, things change and Jason Pahlmeyer entered into a partnership with John Caldwell and 55 acres of land in the Coombsville appellation and Pahlmeyer was born. The vineyard was planted in 1981.
1986 became the first commercial vintage for Pahlmeyer. It was a small vintage for Pahlmeyer because much of the fruit was sold to Randy Dunn. This led to an agreement that in turn, Randy Dunn was to also become the first winemaker for the red wines of Pahlmeyer. The initial vintages were sold as simply Pahlmeyer Estate bottled, listing the grapes, which were a typical blend found in the Left Bank of Bordeaux. In 1989, they added their first Chardonnay to their growing lineup of wines. they brought in Bob Levy to make their white wine. Bob Levy went on to eventually become the wine maker for Harlan Estate! Clearly, Jason could spot talent. In 1998, Pahlmeyer purchased vineyard land in the Atlas Peak appellation.
The next winemaker for the team was Helene Turley who began to work with the winery starting with the 1993 vintage. From that point, Pahlmeyer began planting new vineyards that were cultivated by David Abreu in the Sonoma Coast in 2000. I told you he knew good talent. Helene Turley was replaced by Erin Green. They soon brought in Michel Rolland as their consultant.
Things continued changing and improving from the 1994 vintage. The production for Pahlmeyer Red increased because they added new grape sources. Instead of only using grapes from the Caldwell Vineyard, they also began integrating fruit from their vines in theAtlas Peak appellation. After running the winery for over 30 years, Cleo Pahlmeyer, the daughter of Jayson starting to take more control of managing the estate.
Pahlmeyer Vineyards, Wines, Winemaking
Today, the wines of Pahlmeyer are made from a variety of grape sources that include estate vines and purchased grapes. Their flagship wine is the Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red, which is a blend that can vary but on average, it’s close to 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. The fruit comes from Pahlmeyer Waters Ranch, Rancho Chimiles and the Stagecoach vineyards. The grapes are often harvested at night, so they remain cool, and retain their freshness. The wine is vinified in stainless steel vats. The wines is then aged in 85% new, French oak barrels for about 18 months before bottling. On average, the production is close to 4,000 cases per year.
Pahlmeyer recently created Piece de Resistance, which is a selection of their best best barrels. The production is minuscule, as only 100 cases are made each year. The wine is only available to mailing list customers.
Serving and Decanting Pahlmeyer with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Pahlmeyer wines are best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Young vintages of their red wine can be decanted for 1-3 hours, depending on the character of the vintage. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.
The red wine of Pahlmeyer is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, ribs, hamburgers, barbecue, roasted, braised, grilled dishes and stews. Pahlmeyer is also good with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms and pasta.
The white wine of Pahlmeyer is best served with all types of seafood and shellfish, sushi, sashimi, chicken, veal, pork and cheese.
Pahlmeyer Wine Tasting Notes
18 Vintages 71879 Views Sort Vintage Rating
2013 Pahlmeyer Chardonnay ( Napa Valley)
Lush, rich, sweet, ripe citrus fruits, flowers and vanilla on the nose, with round textures and plenty of ripe lemon and pear in the sweet finish.
Jan 26, 2016points - Tasted 2111 Views
2013 Pahlmeyer Merlot ( Napa Valley)
There is no touch of in the 15.2% alcohol. Instead, you'll find loads of fat, juicy, sweet, dark red fruits, licorice, chocolate and opulent textures in a ready to drink style.
Jan 25, 2016points - Tasted 2488 Views
2012 Pahlmeyer Merlot ( Napa Valley)
One of the top examples of when California produces quality Merlot. The wine is fat, fleshy, rich and round, with loads of ripe, sweet, juicy fruit, chocolate and spice. This is already drinking quite well.
Apr 20, 2015points - Tasted 2672 Views
2012 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red ( Napa Valley)
An elegant, polished expression of California with its chocolate, licorice, cassis and black cherry personality. This is quite supple and polished,
Feb 9, 2015points - Tasted 3563 Views
2012 Pahlmeyer Cabernet Sauvignon Jayson ( Napa Valley)
Forward, approachable, open, soft, ripe, round style of Cabernet Sauvignon that is already fun to drink.
Sep 28, 2015points - Tasted 2817 Views
2010 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red ( Napa Valley)
This winner is loaded with flowers, cherries, blackberries, vanilla, licorice, earth and spice. The wine is rich, deep and lush, ending with a silky, sweet, open, berry fillied finish.
Nov 16, 2013points - Tasted 2744 Views
2009 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red ( Napa Valley)
Sweet, jammy black and red berries, truffles and vanilla scents open to a refined, pure, fresh, elegant, forward Napa Caberent Sauvignon that straddles the ground between uber ripe and traditional.
Oct 23, 2012points - Tasted 4922 Views
2008 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red ( Napa Valley)
Ample layers of rich, ripe, round berries, earth, licorice, truffle and earth lead to a California wine that is well suited for this blend of 5 Bordeaux varietals. This is a refined, elegant style of ripe Cabernet Sauvignon that is already drinking well, yet, based on past performance, has the ability to age and improve.
Apr 30, 2012points - Tasted 3987 Views
2007 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red ( Napa Valley)
Intense aromas of toasty oak, boysenberry, cassis, tobacco and mocha, this rich, full bodied, mouth filling wine offers layers of sweet, blackberry, licorice, chocoalte and blueberry flavors, ending in a suave sensation.
Mar 25, 2011points - Tasted 11423 Views
2007 Pahlmeyer Merlot ( Napa Valley)
This is a chocolate covered sex bomb, packed with fleshy, ripe, boysenberry, licorice, smoke, coffee, earth, blueberry and jam. Rich, intense, fat, lush and concentrated, this is perfect for drinking today and over the next 3-5 years.
Mar 15, 2012points - Tasted 3724 Views
2005 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red ( Napa Valley)
Black and blue fruit, licorice, earth and coffee scents, plush, round, textures and layers of balanced, perfectly ripe berries make for a delicious, Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wine.
May 7, 2012points - Tasted 5386 Views
2002 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red ( Napa Valley)
Opulent, sexy, rich layers of cassis, blackberry, cocoa, licorice and black plum lead to a perfect balance between ripe and refined. This is drinking great today.
May 7, 2012points - Tasted 3943 Views
1997 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red ( Napa Valley)
Fresh raspberry, strawberry, thyme and earthy scents open up the medium bodied, soft textured, elegant wine. The finish is all about the sweet, dusty, spicy, black raspberries in the end note.
Sep 23, 2015points - Tasted 2257 Views
1997 Pahlmeyer Merlot ( Napa Valley)
Lacking the lush qualities of its young, there is still plenty to like about its dark chocolate covered cherry and licorice character. Soft, round and fully mature, there is no reason not to pull a cork on this, if you have a bottle.
Sep 23, 2015points - Tasted 3362 Views
1996 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red ( Napa Valley)
Floral aromatics are complicated by cherry pipe tobacco, truffle and wet earth scents. Silky, refined and soft, the dark cherry, plum and roasted coffee bean sensations on the palate is a treat.
Dec 9, 2015points - Tasted 2864 Views
From a typical blend used in the Left Bank of Bordeaux, this fully mature, delicious wine offered cassis, smoke, blackberry, earth and tobacco scents. Full bodied, concentrated and soft in texture, there is no reason not to drink this wine today.
Jul 5, 2012points - Tasted 3694 Views
1996 Pahlmeyer Merlot ( Napa Valley)
At 21 years of age, there is still life going here, with a round, lush, blast of dark chocolate and cherry fruit. There is no reason to hold this any longer though.
Mar 8, 2017points - Tasted 1424 Views
1995 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red ( Napa Valley)
Silky, elegant and refreshing, with a sweet, ripe, refined, pure cherry finish. Fully mature, this requires drinking over the next few years to allow you to enjoy its fruit and freshness.
Dec 9, 2015points - Tasted 2805 Views
1994 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red ( Napa Valley)
The first bottle tasted showed an earthy, straw and barnyard aroma that overwhelmed the experience. That bottle deserved its 89 Pt score. The second bottle showed much better with its dark red cherry, plum, fennel earth and smoke filled nose. Soft, round and fully mature, this is drinking at what is probably its peak today.
Mar 4, 2014points - Tasted 3301 Views
From a typical Left Bank Bordeaux blend, this wine is fully mature. Tobacco, earth, smoke, blackberry, cassis, stone and truffle aromas, soft textures and a full bodied, round personality, this is not quite as rich as it was a few years ago. I'd opt for drinking this over the next few years.
Mar 15, 2012points - Tasted 2392 Views