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Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Proprietary Red 1996

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • RP95
  • WS90
14.3% ABV
  • JS97
  • WS95
  • RP94
  • D94
  • WW93
  • RP96
  • JS96
  • WW93
  • WS93
  • JS96
  • RP94
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  • WE91
  • WS94
  • CG93
  • RP93
  • RP96
  • WS95
  • RP95
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  • WS90
  • RP96
  • CG95
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14.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine shares some of the chocolatey characteristics of the two Merlot vintages, but there is more cassis liqueur, blackberries, blueberries, and pain grille (toast) notes in this lavishly rich, flamboyant proprietary red.Full-bodied, marvelously concentrated and extremely well-balanced, this wine's acidity, tannin, and high alcohol are completely buried beneath the complex fruit and extract of this profound offering.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1996 Proprietary Red (a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon with the balance Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc) is not a very weighty (14.3% alcohol) offering. It has become more delineated with a year of bottle age, offering up classic creme de cassis, smoked meat, coffee, prune, and toasty new oak scents. Concentrated, with fabulously high extract, sweet tannin, and full body, this wine has an elegant feel on the palate, but is still a blockbuster.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Fresh aromas of ripe black cherry, currant and berry are enticing, turning rich and complex on the palate, with fine depth, balance and persistence. Impessive for its vitality and purity of flavor. The best of four bottles.
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Pahlmeyer

Pahlmeyer

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Pahlmeyer, Napa Valley, 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.

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 1960's, 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 1980's, 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 is 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.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

POE34346_1996 Item# 34346