Jayson Pahlmeyer has always been determined to bring the Mouton Rothschild experience to Napa Valley. Armed with a crazy venture capitalist backing, he started by buying a super expensive piece of land atop Atlas Peak, smuggled in Bordeaux clippings from some of their most prized estates, hired a superstar winemaker who worked at both Chateau Haut Brion and Au Bon Climat, and went to work. It suffices to say, he achieved his goals and then some.
In the 35 years since Pahlmeyer’s founding, it skyrocketed up the ranks of Napa to become regional royalty, and then may have even set a new bar. Multiple 100-point wines, yearly inclusion in the “best wineries of the world” lists and a 40-under-40 tastemaker recognition for their winemaker and you can say that they’re in rarefied air.
Then you mix in the fact that their four sources for fruit are their own gorgeous estate vineyard, Stagecoach vineyard atop Pritchard Hill, Antinori Family’s Antica, and Rancho Chimiles, and you realize that these guys are playing with a stacked deck. It’s no wonder they have a multi-year wait just to join the uber-expensive allocation list.
And while just about every bottle made at this elite facility fetches a lofty three-digit price tag, I have Pahylmeyer’s one true secret weapon—a gorgeous, modestly priced Napa Valley red with 15-20 years of aging, which bears their trusty founder’s name.
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93 Points, James Suckling
Aromas of blackcurrant, sliced plum, coriander and cardamom. Full-bodied with silky tannins. Nicely concentrated, without being overblown. Sweet spice and black fruit wash over the palate, with some black-tea notes coming through as well. I like the subtlety here. Drink or hold.
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