Paloma Merlot Tag

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The Wine Spectator placed our wine in the top 100 again; the 2002 Paloma Merlot was 54th of over 12,000 wines tasted this year. Another exceptional honor! This year, the Merlot blooms suffered severe damage from “shatter”, which resulted in half the normal crop. Shatter is caused by excessive moisture during bloom; the blossom does not pollinate and the fruit does not set. It is common with Merlot, which is more susceptible to shatter than other varietals, but we had never been effected so adversely. We pulled our small block of Syrah, which produced about 150 cases of wine per year and replaced it with Cabernet Sauvignon. There were many

The 1994 Paloma Merlot, our first wine, was released – all 575 cases of it. The wine is a blend of 88% percent estate grown Merlot and 12% estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a hit with the wine critics and, more importantly, with the public. After three years of making non-commercial Syrah for ourselves, we made our first resale vintage.

In March, we moved into our home and acquired a new friend, Aussie, the vineyard dog. She is an Australian Terrier who loves to hunt; this trait will put her on a collision course with our local rattlesnake population. The Prides released their 1991 Merlot, which was made from our Merlot grapes, as well as a small amount of their Cabernet Sauvignon grapes – it was a smash hit! We agreed to sell our grapes to the Prides starting the next year, 1994. Their wine maker, Bob Foley, will also make us our first vintage of Paloma Merlot from a small amount of the grapes. Each year, we will

Last year we cleared some fir trees that were shading an area of the Merlot; we decided to plant a small block of Syrah on the cleared area as an experiment. Carolyn and Jim Pride, with their wine maker Bob Foley, bought some bulk Merlot wine made from our grapes that we had sold to another winery. Bob finished the wine and blended it with Pride’s Cabernet Sauvignon. This purchase will be a major event for us, but we won’t know it for two more years.