Wine Spectator Tag

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This year was a tough one. In May, at the age of 83, Barbara passed away due to complications from a stroke. It left a hole in the family that will take time to fill. She was the green thumb always reminding us that great wine starts with great grapes; we are farmers first and wine makers second. We spread her ashes in the vineyard that she poured so much of her heart and sole into these past 33 years. Thank you to all; the out reach and support from the wine community has been incredible. We are humbled and honored by your kindness. And a special thank you

We finally got back to normal growing weather in 2012. Many have proclaimed it the vintage of the deca­de, even though we are only three years into the decade. In October, we got some fantastic news about our 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. It received an honorary mention from James Laube of the Wine Spectator. James has always spoken very kindly of us over the years and we are forever grateful.

2010 was the first of two challenging years for farming and winemaking. It was unusually cool, which made getting the fruit as ripe as we like particularly difficult. The 2011 vintage was even more challenging; after a second cool season, starting in September, it rained throughout harvest. Because of this, and the resulting product, Wine Spectator was very hard on this vintage throughout the Napa Valley. Fortunately for us, it's looking like the mountain terroir and the subtle differences in climate from the valley floor might help us escape what could have been a disappointing wine. It's still early, but we are optimistically hopeful about the 2011 vintage.

For the third time in 6 years, the Paloma Merlot made the Wine Spectator's Top 100. Out of over 18,000 wines tasted in 2008, the 2006 vintage placed 65th. Aside from the usual farming and winemaking challenges that we face every year, Jim was diagnosed with cancer in late 2007. He and Barbara spent the better part of two years in San Francisco while he underwent treatment. He fought stoically, but sadly, he passed in May of 2009. The Wine Spectator was very generous in their praise of Jim within the wine community. A worthy tribute to a very special person and his extraordinary wife, Barbara. A special thank you

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

Our son Sheldon, who had been living in Canada for 35 years, joined our business in August, just in time for harvest. Fortunately, he was here when The Wine Spectator magazine named our 2001 Paloma Merlot their "Wine of the Year" for 2003. We were pleased with the honor, but hardly prepared for the avalanche of calls, faxes and emails requesting wine or just to be on next year's mailing list. We sold out of wine in very short order. We don't like to be out so early, but it was a "good" problem to have. Our grandson, Caston, didn't realize that when he had helped with harvest