Pahlmeyer Jayson Napa Chardonnay with Grilled Salmon
In pursuit of balanced and healthy eating, we grilled out salmon with roasted potatoes and asparagus. I pulled from the cellar this vintage Napa Chardonnay for a enjoyable pairing,
I always keep this label on hand in memory of dear friends' departed son with that same name that we hold and serve to honor and toast him when common acquaintances and we are together.
We have several bottles in this collection so I pulled this, the oldest vintage to consume as part of cellar management, also, it was his birthday recently so this was with him/that in mind as well.
“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.
He made several trips to France to find some of the highest quality Bordeaux varietal clones, seeking assistance over several years from viti-cultural professors at the University of Bordeaux who analyzed the soil samples, exposure, rainfall and temperature data from Napa.
Jayson and his partner were able to acquire Cabernet
Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec vines and managed to smuggle their “suitcase clones” through Canada and then took them back to California where he
planted his own vineyard.
“I hired David Abreu to develop it, and Helen and Erin Green, Helen’s protégé and our longtime winemaker, selected the clones, which included those smuggled from Bordeaux that I had been using since my 1986 vintage.”
Planted in 1981, the French cuttings slowly adjusted. Pahlmeyer Wine released their first vintage in 1986 with the help of Randy Dunn, one of California’s foremost winemakers, the Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red was made and launched.
Helen Turley took over winemaking in 1993 and further improved
the quality and consistency of Pahlmeyer wines. They started
producing wine at the Napa Wine Co in 1994 soon after Napa Wine Co
underwent a huge renovation to accommodate production from wineries who
do not actually have their own physical winery at the time.
Jayson’s daughter Cleo joined the team in 2008.
Today, the winemaker is Bibiana Gonzalez Rave. She received her oenology degree from the University of Bordeaux and has worked at estates in Bordeaux, the Rhone Valley, Santa Barbara County, Sonoma Valley and other locations in addition to Napa Valley. She was named Winemaker of the Year for 2015 by the San Francisco Chronicle.
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. The Pahlmeyer Rancho Chimiles parcel, while slightly lower in elevation, sits close to the San Pablo Bay and enjoys cooling afternoon breezes that moderate temperature.
We love Pahlmeyer wines and have served special large format bottles of our son's birthyear vintage bottles at his wedding celebration and birthday dinners as posted in these pages -
Pahlmeyer "Jayson" Napa Valley Chardonnay 2015
This 100% Napa Chardonnay has a striking golden color and is rich and
weighty, but very complex and savory at the same time. It's a powerful
wine that doesn't need to assert its dominance. The flavors are more
spiced than fruity, and you might catch hints of smoked vanilla and