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Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
  • JD96
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • WE94
14.9% ABV
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4.2 6 Ratings
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4.2 6 Ratings
14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2016 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Chardonnay has bright straw gold color in the glass. Clean floral aromas, including honeysuckle and orange blossom, mingle with notes of vanilla, brioche and shaved almonds before leading into a palate of sweet grapefruit and spice. This is a wine of great depth, with fine acidity and thorough minerality that balance the vivid fruit characters and carry onto a satisfying finish.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
Tasted out of bottle, the classic 2016 Chardonnay was barrel fermented and aged all in new oak. It offers a killer bouquet of caramelized orchard fruits, hints of pineapple, spice, brioche and white flowers. Possessing full-bodied richness, serious flavor authority, notable freshness and a great finish, this is high-class Chardonnay all the way.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Chardonnay has a lovely savory, yeasty/toasty nose over a core of warm grapefruit, fresh apricots and allspice with a touch of candied ginger. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-filling stone fruit and spicy layers, supported by great freshness and finishing long and creamy.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Rich and generous, offering an outlay of fig, honeydew, anise and light apricot flavors. Shows a measure of finesse and grace. Given the full body, this is quite elegant. Drink now through 2023.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Reductive in the best way, this wine opens in a layering of salty brine and oak as a creamy palate reveals itself with power and concentration. Baked apple, gingersnap and cinnamon toast configure around bold structure and moderate acidity, allowing for a fulsome, voluptuous experience.
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Pahlmeyer

Pahlmeyer

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Pahlmeyer, California
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Jayson Pahlmeyer has been producing highly sought-after wines since 1986. It began with Jayson's dream to make world-class Bordeaux-style wine from Napa Valley. Pahlmeyer's estate vineyard - Waters Rance - is situated at 2100 feet in the Atlas Peak appellation of Napa Valley. It is the key source for their Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Chardonnay. Jayson's passion eventually led him to the Sonoma Coast, where less than seven miles and two ridges from the Pacific Ocean, he planted Wayfarer Farm, their key source for Pinot Noir.
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Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

RPT41040406_2016 Item# 434640