2014 Pahlmeyer Chardonnay

Year: 2014
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 91
Wine Advocate: 94
Vinous Media: 90-92
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.9%
Price :


"A bit edgy, with wood and pear notes joined by citrus and melon details. The buttery flavors slowly come together on the finish. Drink now. 3,000 cases made. –JL " (WS)

"The 2014 Chardonnay is light gold-colored with a greenish hue and beautiful, fresh tropical fruit flavors of pineapple, pear, honeysuckle and a touch of citrus. It is not as dense and concentrated as the 2013, but I love its vibrancy and beautiful subtleties and nuances. It is another top-notch effort from Pahlmeyer to drink over the next 7-8 years." (WA)

"Pahlmeyer's 2014 Chardonnay is bright and nicely focused in the glass. Lemon oil, flowers, mint, spices and anise are all laced together in the glass. Medium in body, with good freshness, the 2014 should drink well upon release. The 2014 is a blend of equal parts Foss Valley and estate fruit. I tasted the wine from tank just prior to bottling." (VM)

Winery Notes:
The 2014 season was the third in a string of stunning vintages, once again benefiting from nearly ideal growing conditions. Dry and mild temperatures ushered in our earliest bud break and harvest on record, however the overall length of the growing season was normal and allowed for complete ripeness with a prominent fresh acidity. The persistent drought conditions yielded small berries with concentrated flavors and elegant tannins. Despite these highlights, 2014 will likely be most remembered as the year Napa was rocked by a major earthquake just days before harvest. Fortunately, both our estate vineyard and winery survived without significant damage, but our greater community was deeply shaken and the event defined the entire season.

Our Chardonnay was picked during the cool of the night, then each cluster was hand sorted and gravity fed into the bladder press. The juice was streamed into stainless steel tanks and left to settle for 24 hours at 50 degrees. We racked it to French oak barrels to begin native yeast fermentation, where it was monitored daily and stirred only as needed to stimulate the process. After malolactic fermentation, we again racked the wines, commingling lots for the first time before the blend was barreled down into 90% new François Frères French oak, primarily Vosges very tight grain, for another 11 months. It was neither fined nor filtered before bottling.

Bright gold in color. Intense aromas of honeysuckle, bee pollen and apricot nectar are lightly tinged with sea salt and interwoven with notes of baked graham cracker. The ultra plush mouthfeel has light tones of honeycomb and juicy summer fruits reminis- cent of Crane melon and grilled peach, yet retains an austerity driven by the bright acidity characteristic of this vintage. The long finish lingers with flavors of freshly baked bread, cold winter smoke and clean wet stone.