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Synonymous with Pahlmeyer, Proprietary Red is the winery’s raison d’etre.
“All I wanted to do was to create my own ‘California Mouton’ – a rich, powerful Napa Valley Bordeaux blend, a wine that would drop wine lovers to their knees,” says Jayson Pahlmeyer.
1986 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red was the realization of Jayson’s dream. Anointed 94 points by Robert Parker, it was the first of an extraordinary legacy of critically acclaimed wines.
What is Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red? It is a classic Napa Valley Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Each variety is harvested and held separately throughout fermentation and barrel aging. The lots are aged an average of 18 months in French oak Bordeaux barrels, blended through a meticulous, time-honored artisanal process, and bottled without filtering or fining.
Produced in limited quantities, the Proprietary Red is a wine of superb power and density with commanding tannins and rich, dark flavors that become increasingly lush and seductive with age. Properly cellared, Proprietary Red will evolve magnificently for at least 25 years.
Blend: 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot
Dark garnet in color and nearly black at the core, the wine opens with concentrated aromas of ripe blackberry and wild blueberry, delicate notes of red raspberry and lavender, and a fresh waft of crushed slate. The silky entry is intense with cassis, black cherry and bitter chocolate, yet bright with red cherry and plum, grounded by notes of crushed stone. This powerful wine crescendos into a long, lingering finish. Extraordinary in its depth, complexity and concentration, this wine requires time, patience and decanting. Best after 2020 it will reveal increasing opulence over time, and age gracefully well beyond twenty years of cellaring.
Proprietary Red is a masterful blend of five Bordeaux varietals, crafted from 75 individually fermented lots. Each varietal was
harvested and processed separately. Grape clusters were gravity-fed onto a vibrating table with two screens to sift out materials other than grapes while we removed by hand any fruit that did not pass visual inspection. After gentle destemming, individual berries were then run through another hand-sorting pass to ensure only clean fruit was delivered into the fermenters. After five days of cold maceration, the fruit entered primary fermentation for two to six weeks, then gently basket pressed. 15% of the wine was fermented in French oak 500L puncheons, and the remaining in new Seguin Moreau Icone and Taransaud French Oak barrels and aged for 20 months.
Fantastic aromatics with blackberries, blackcurrants and iodine. Licorice, too. Medium to fulll body, fine and velvety tannins and a very polished and gorgeous finish. Caressing and dialed in. Why wait? An intellectual wine here. Lovely now. – James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, January 2017 – 97p
A remarkable effort, engagingly rich and concentrated, with a deep, firm mix of licorice-shaded blackberry, currant, graphite, dried herb and cedary oak notes. The flavors hold and gain, leading to a persistent finish that keeps echoing the core elements. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2030. 5,000 cases made. – James Laube, Wine Spectator, June 15, 2017 – 95p
The 2014 Proprietary Red Wine is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec, again, showing slightly less depth than its two surrounding siblings, but beautiful pure fruit, silky, velvety tannins, a layered mouthfeel and deep blackcurrant and black cherry fruit intermixed with cedar wood, fruitcake and smoky oak. This is a terrific wine as well and it will be the fastest out of the gate in terms of evolution – drinking beautifully for the next 15+ years. – Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, December 2016 – 94p