Laura’s Tasting Notes: The 2014 Paloma Merlot
2014 was the 3rd year in a row of drought conditions for the valley, so the focus for Sheldon, Paloma’s winemaker, was preservation of quality. Only half of the Merlot and none of the Cabernet crop made it into the bottle. While a difficult decision at the time, this allowed for the first ever 100% Merlot vintage—typically our Merlot has about 15% Cabernet Sauvignon blended into it.
Drinking this wine in the fall of 2023, the drinker gets bright strawberry seed notes off the nose. When swirled, the aromatics fold into a batch of blueberry poppy seed muffins with a touch of red current. This wine suggests some slight decanting may be in order to expand its tannins and unctuous flavors. As you taste, the flavor waits to hit until mid-pallet, where salivation begins upon impact. After swallowing, the drinker is left with a light finish of candied violets and subtle dried cranberry.
How does the age-ability of this vintage compare to others? This 9-year-old wine is drinking beautifully now and will continue to develop for at least another 10 years, most likely peaking in about 5.
2014 as a year
As mentioned before, this was another drought condition year for the Napa Valley. Fruit was intense, but production was low. Harvest came relatively early in September and what did come in looked great. And with time, the vintage confirmed what we saw!