This has got to be the easiest post for me to ever write! It's loaded with some of my favorite emotions; Hilarity, Delight, Charm, Tenderness, Excitement and of course Groovey. It so much reminds me of one of my favorite movies and the trailer the movie studio did to promote it.
Oh, and of course wonderful actors. The main characters, one of course is me, but the other is the President of a winery, a winery that I have followed and loved for many years. Think of it, all those emotions all wrapped up and bursting to get out. This is what faced me as I was preparing to attend a recent seminar and the emotions I realized after attending. Even before the seminar, I was excited to be a part of this event. Delighted to be able to sample wines from such a prestigious winery and if I had to express myself right at that moment, I would fall back on my roots (mind you I'm not talking about my ass, but my lineage) and use that time-honored expression "Groovey!" I think I got most of those adjectives from the trailer in this paragraph. Oh, and the hilarious is just my writing!
So pray-tell, what is this winery that makes my heart flutter? (Oh, there's the Romantic adjective!)
Knowing how much better wine tastes and events excel when someone from the winery is present, I knew I would be attending, as this time we would be graced with the President of the winey, and daughter of Jason Pahlmeyer (Founder), Cleo Pahlmeyer.
Cleo was delightful. (I think I can call her Cleo as we had this wine connection) and she brought the history of Pahlmeyer to life. Beginning with some intrigue and, shall we say sleight-of-hand, as to the efforts to obtain and plant the rootstock for the vineyard. You can read the sordid details here. Throughout their history there have been some other great names associated with the winery's formation; Helen Turley, David Abreu and Randy Dunn, the first winemaker, to name a few.
From the start, Cleo continued, what her father, Jayson Pahlmeyer, sought to create, what he called the "California Mouton." In 1986 he released his first wine, the Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red, to a 94 Point review by Robert Parker, Jr. A few years later they moved to create world-famous Chardonnay. Even garnering a Cameo role in the movie "Disclosure" making his wine even more difficult to obtain. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the 2015 Napa Chardonnay was the #9 Wine in the 2017 Wine Spectator's Top 100 List. A post I wrote about in some detail. It was one of the wines we sampled, pure bliss...
Along with the attention to every detail, what makes Pahlmeyer so special is that the vineyards are perched atop Atlas Creek in Napa. With elevations from 1,500 to 2,200 feet, they represent some of the highest grown grapes in the region; oh that mountain fruit that I love so much!
They didn't stop there. In 1998 they purchased 30 acres of land in the Sonoma Coast, in 2011 this area to be given the appellation name of Fort Ross-Seaview. This parcel, called Wayfarer Vineyards, was the opportunity to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnays that rivaled the famous Burgundies of France. When the Wayfarer line began, Cleo (remember I'm on a first name basis), was placed in charge of the that winery. We sampled those as well.
Getting on to the actual tasting, after all, that's what this is all about, we started off with their newest entry, the 2017 Jayson Sauvignon Blanc. Haven't talked about Jayson before, at least not the wine. The Jayson label represents a way to extend the quality of Pahlmeyer to a larger audience. Using similar techniques and grapes to make the wine. So the Sauvignon Blanc is a real stunner. With time both in stainless and oak, the wine exhibits fresh citrus notes and a depth of flavor and complexity.
Next, we had a real treat. Three Chardonnays lined up side-by-side, the Jayson, Pahlmeyer and Wayfarer. Each having their own distinct characteristics. Jayson showing a lighter side both of flavor and oak. Pahlmeyer was a mouthful of wine! Rich and intense and an obvious Top 10 wine at 95 Points. Coming from Sonoma Coast, the Wayfarer also showed a little more restraint on oak aging. More months in oak but less new oak gave the wine that smooth rich and slightly creamier texture. No slouch either having received 96 Points from Wine Advocate. Of note was that when asked which wine Cleo enjoys MAKING the most, it was almost obvious, she said the Wayfarer Chardonnay.
On to the reds where we were to discover the Wayfarer Pinot Noir. A Burgundian styled wine still having a level of dark fruit at its core and a subtleness to enjoy. Back to Pahlmeyer and their Merlot. I am a big supporter (not athletic) of Merlot. It has been given a bad rape in the distant past and now should be given its due for the achievements and rise in quality. This wine was no exception! Lovely with rich dark fruit and that touch of spiciness on the finish.
The last wine needs a paragraph to itself. The 2014 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red. Aahh. Okay, I'm done.........I guess you could use a little more? From the first sip you notice the softer side of this big wine. Richness and flavor that just lingers through on a long finish. The softer tannins make this a wine to enjoy now or can be aged for many years to come. A real crowd pleaser. Of course, I am partial to the 2013 Vintage and true to my Wine Snob, Wine Geek moniker, I was fortunate to find out that the shop had a lone 2013 Pahlmeyer in stock. Figured I'd do them a favor and take that one off their hands. I'm so thoughtful...
I told you I wouldn't have any trouble writing about this. I think this is one of my longest posts yet. Good for me, so so for you, unless you're a real fan.
Looking for a great bottle, you'll always find one if you think PAHLMEYER!