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Pahlmeyer Chardonnay Napa Valley 2021

ID No: 449530
Organic:Yes
Vintage:2021
Bottle Size:750 ml
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Serendipity was in the morning air when Maya and Sophie took Lindsay for a walk down a Yountville country lane. Maya, the feisty one, spied a jackrabbit and bounded off in hot pursuit. When Lindsay caught up with her, she found herself surrounded by some fine looking Chardonnay vines. Always on the look-out for the best fruit for Hoopla, with some neighborhood super-sleuthing, Lindsay tracked down the vineyard owner and kept talking until she got his handshake. That chance discovery gave us really great Chardonnay that we offer at a really great price. In fact, chasing rabbits is exactly what we’re talking about. This cheeky Chardonnay will make you want to get into some mischief too.

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"I was blown away by the 2020 Chardonnay, a clean, crisp, vibrant expression of Chardonnay that has medium to full-bodied richness, wonderfully integrated acidity, and a distinct sense of minerality in its citrus, stone fruit, and white flower-driven aromatics. It's shockingly good and tastes like it cost 3-4 times its price."

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The 2021 Chardonnay Edward James Estate takes on a lightly savory tone with a delicate perfume of smoky incense, fresh green pear. There’s a silky texture in this medium to full bodied white, with bright notes of preserved lime, ripe white peaches, and fresh flowers, and it has a clean, fantastic finish.

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Product Description

Pahlmeyer Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 

Our 2021 Chardonnay is a thrilling, age-worthy wine, ultra-rich and concentrated yet beautifully balanced with lively fresh-style. Intense aromas of ripe gooseberry, lemongrass, and sweet clover bound from the glass with lingering notes of orange blossom honey. The wine has a brilliant juxtaposition of opulence and bright acidity on the palate, with pure, focused fruit at its core. A surge of tarte citron and toasted almond rides an edge of lifting acidity as polished oak tannins frame the fruit beautifully and seamlessly, captivating notes of salted caramel and baked spiced pear echoing on the finish.


Review:

Sliced cooked apples with biscuit and pie crust undertones, as well as hints of spices with some salted caramel. Hints of apricot. Full-bodied with a firmness and depth. Creamy-textured phenolics and great length. One of the best I have tasted. It is rich and flavorful, yet it shows great depth and length. Drinkable, but better in two or three years.

-James Suckling 98 Points

Winery: Pahlmeyer

Jason Pahlmeyer understood that making wines with exceptional concentration, complexity, and ageability required venturing to extremes. That’s what drew him to the rugged parcel of vines on the ridgeline of Atlas Peak that would become his iconic estate vineyard. That is why, more than 35 years later, Pahlmeyer remains defined by mountain fruit, possessing the soulful character born of demanding terroir and exacting fieldwork. 

More hours of sunlight lead to greater ripeness and complexity.

Cooler temperatures result in more complete phenolic ripeness and greater fruit intensity.
Low-Fertility, low-vigor soils yield smaller berries with greater concentration.
We farm responsively for balance and depth. 
We vinify gently for honest and vivid expression.

Vineyards above 1,400 feet—such as our Water’s Ranch, Stagecoach, and Antica parcels—typically benefit from three more hours of sunshine per day compared to lower altitudes that are often cloaked in morning fog. This additional sunlight ensures the berries achieve a deep, rich color and complex flavor compounds. 

With daytime temperatures averaging 5-10 F cooler, our mountain vines respire less acidity to produce energy; the acidity retained in the grapes results in greater freshness and balance in the wines. Cooler temperatures also prolong the growing season, allowing the clusters to hang longer on the vine and achieve optimal flavor development. Our Rancho Chimiles parcel, while slightly lower in elevation, sits close to the San Pablo Bay and enjoys cooling afternoon breezes that moderate temperature.

Thinner, rockier, poorer, and better-drained high-elevation soils naturally stress the vines, reducing yields by generating fewer shoots with limited clusters and smaller, thicker-skinned berries. The higher skin-to-juice ratio brings higher acidity, more tannin, and greater flavor concentration.

Farming our mountain parcels vine-by-vine, we can achieve a careful balance between broad structure and phenolic maturity. Dramatic mountain terrain challenges us with various slope grades, sun aspects, and microclimates. Through meticulous fieldwork, we optimize hang time and reach optimal ripeness, moderating Brix levels (e.g., 26.7 Brix for Cab and 24.5 for Chardonnay) so that our wines possess focused fruit and tremendous finesse.

From vine to barrel, we handle the fruit with extreme care. We hand harvest, block by block only when each vine has reached optimal ripeness. The fruit, picked before sunup when skins are cool and firm, are gravity-fed to tank. Throughout the fermentation process, we employ little to no pumping, extracting juice gently with a basket press and bottling unfined and unfiltered to retain the purist, most eloquent expression of the wine.


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