' Paloma Vineyard - 1998 Reviews

1998 Reviews



REVIEWS - 1998 Wines


CONNOISSEURS’ GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA WINE
Wine: 1998 Paloma Merlot, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
Reviewed: December 2000
Rating: One Puff
14% Cabernet Franc
Review:
“Building from its base of ripe black cherry fruit and complementary oak, this enjoyable effort picks up nuances of root beer, currant and dried spice. Its supple entry marks it as Merlot while its ending tannins are reflective of both its Cabernet Franc percentage and it’s mountainside birth place.”
*(Franc should read Sauvignon-Jim R.)


Wine: 1998 Paloma Syrah, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
Reviewed: December 2000
Rating:
Review:
“Its oak and dried violets aromas come packed with earthy, gamy notes of Syrah but also come without as much fruit as they might. The wine is appropriately full in feel and moderately tannic in construction, yet its somewhat brushy, loose-knit flavors are more underplayed than complete, and it is unlikely to grow much with age.”

 

THE INSIDERS’ WINE LINE-JOE SULLIVAN
Wine: 1998 Paloma Merlot, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
Reviewed: Volume 4, Number 1
Rating: 93
Review:
“The 1998 Merlot, Napa Valley has an exotic perfumed nose of blackberry, black currants, chocolate, plum and raspberry with floral highlights and sandalwood. The flavors of cherries, berries, cassis, cocoa, mint and subtle toasty oak are lush, complex and flavorful followed by a long, fruity, spicy finish. ONE OF OUR FAVORITE MERLOTS YEAR AFTER YEAR.”


Wine: 1998 Paloma Syrah, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
Reviewed: Volume 4, Number 1
Rating: 94
Review:
“ The 1998 Syrah, Napa Valley has a fabulous, exotic perfumed bouquet of blackberries, cassis, sandalwood, mint, black pepper, cedar, coffee and violets. The complex flavors of berries, red plums, cassis, pepper, cinnamon, dry citrus zest and subtle toasty oak are well balanced followed by a long, fruity, spicy finish.”

 

INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR – STEPHAN TANZER
Wine: 1998 Paloma Merlot, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
Reviewed: May/June 2000
Rating: 89-91
Review:
“(Includes 16% Cabernet Sauvignon: the crop was off 52% from 197): Medium-deep ruby. Aromas of dark berries, dark chocolate, smoke, shoe polish and game. Supple, rich and sweet; not as powerful of dense as the 197 but offers lovely fruitiness. Tannins are a bit more obvious here than in the ’97.”


Wine: 1998 Paloma Syrah, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
Reviewed: May/June 2000
Rating: 89+
Review:
“ Medium ruby. More peppery aromas of blackberry, violet, Valrhona chocolate and creosote. Dense but quite firm, with penetrating acidity giving the wine an impression of tightness. This wine, too, will age more on its acids than on its very even tannins.”


Wine: 1998 Paloma Merlot, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
Reviewed: November/December 2001
Rating: 87
Review:
“(Deep ruby red. Sweet, rather wild aromas of cassis, dark chocolate, game, tree bark and maple syrup. Rich, chocolatey and sweet; smooth and gamey, with chewy texture and notes of tobacco and dill. Shows good density and sweetness for the year.”

 

THE WINE ADVOCATE – ROBERT M. PARKER JR.
Wine: 1998 Paloma Merlot, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
Reviewed: Issue 132, 12-23-03
Rating: 88
Review:
“(I have been a longtime fan of the Merlot made by proprietor Jim Richards. While some may quibble over the elevated level of toasty new oak, the wine possesses the chocolate, black cherry, and currant fruit required to back up the wood. It is also full-bodied, ripe, long, and exotic. The oak is nearly excessive, but I feel it will become better integrated with the wine’s other characteristics within a year or so. Drink it over the following 7-8 years.”


Wine: 1998 Paloma Syrah, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
Reviewed: Issue 132, 12-23-03
Rating: 76
Review:
“ I also tasted a 1998 Syrah Spring Mountain that was extremely tough-textured, emaciated, lean, and austere.”

 

WINE SPECTATOR
Wine: 1998 Paloma Merlot, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
Reviewed: October 15, 2000
Rating: 84
Review:
Dense, with earthy, concentrated mineral and currant flavors that turn slightly bitter on the finish. Best from 2001 through 2006. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 1,625 cases made.”

Wine: 1998 Paloma Syrah, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
Reviewed: February 28, 2001
Rating: 88
Review:
“ Beefy, spicy, and cedary, with stewed plum, mineral and leathery edge, holding its focus and lingering on the finish. Drink now through 2006. 125 cases made. – J.L.”

 

THE COLORADO WINE NEWS
Wine: 1998 Paloma Merlot, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
Reviewed: July – September 2001
Review:
“ If you don’t know the Merlot from this small winery at the very top of Spring Mountain, you have missed one of the finest Merlots made in California. And theh Richards have been doing it since 1994. The 1998 Merlot, Spring Mountain, $39, 1600 cases, contains 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is still very tight. A smooth round bouquet of dark berry: blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, plum, chocolate, and smoke repeats on the palate which adds smoke, great dark cherry, spice, bright acidity, and fine, ripe tannin and oak. The finish is long and broad. Overall, the wine is well integrated with great balance and depth, good richness and structure. It only needs a few years in the bottle to show its true potential. Excellent.”

 

MAKING THE DOW JONES MERLOT INDEX
From the Wall Street Journal, April 2001
TASTINGS/ by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher
Flowers and Leather
As it happens, our best of tasting was made from 84% Merlot and 16% Cebernet Sauvignon. It knocked our socks off! “Extremely serios wine with lots of stuff. Real soul. Complex. Edgy. Very serious, with massive, tight fruit. Ripe. Lots of structure. Clearly expensive. Flowers, tobacco and leather. Long, majestic finish. Could age forever. Dark, burned quality. Black cherries, dark chocolate. Full flavored. Dark, bitter chocolate, but finishes dry” Wow! When we ripped open the bag, this turned out to be a wine we’d never seen before. It was Paloma Vineyard, from Napa Valley ($44.99) it said on the back, “ Proprietors: Barbara and Jim Richards” and listed their phone number, so we called. Mr. Richards said he and his wife made 1.650 cases of that wine, and attributed its complexity and depth to the grapes and the perfect, sloped soil in which they grow.


Their wines get a great deal of personal attention. In fact, Mr. Richards said, last year he and his wife picked their 15 acres 13 different times, each time removing only the ripest grapes. That kind of care and labor is expensive, and it shows in the wine.


The Merlot, Mr. Richards said, is available in four states outside of California; New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. The way wine is distributed in this country, you can never tell where you will find any particular wine. The only thing you can do is enjoy the hunt for something new.


Click HERE to read the entire TASTINGS article from the Wall Street Journal.


THE DOW JONES MERLOT INDEX APRIL 2001
MERLOT CAN BE A SIMPLE, PLEASANT LITTLE WINE, but it can also be a wine with the kind of depth and complexity that you’ll remember long after your glass is empty. We tried 50 American Merlots under $20 and 50 more over $20. These were our four favorites, but don’t rush out and get these. There are larger points here. The first is that even inexpensive Merlot can be well-made and lovely. If yours is just a red liquid in your glass, try another. The second point is that, often for just a few dollars more, you can have a much better wine. We’d recommend drinking most of the less-expensive Merlots soon. Most of the expensive ones could age.


Over $20


Paloma Vineyard 1998 (Napa Valley)
$44.99
DELICIOUS
Best of tasting. A massive wine of the real soul. Complex, edgy and ripe. Lots of structure, with flowers, tobacco, leather, blackberries, dark chocolate and a majestic finish.


Whitehall Lane Winery 1997 (Napa Valley)
$27.99
VERY GOOD/ DELICIOUS
Best value. Intense and serious, with layers of tastes. Beautifully made and memorable.


Joseph Phelps 1997 (Napa Valley)
$41.99
DELICIOUS
Beautiful to look at and easy to drink, with a velvety taste in the front and a dry, tight finish that gives it class and complexity.


Charles Krug Winery ‘ Peter Mondavi Family’ 1996 Reserve (Napa Valley)
$35.89
VERY GOOD/ DELICIOUS
Absolutely charming. Nice and plump at first, but more complex and serious aas it opens up. A wine you could fall in love with.


Dry Creek Vineyard 1996 (Sonoma County)
$22.95
VERY GOOD/DELICIOUS
Loaded with tight fruit, still bound up with youth. Deep, raisiny, tannic tastes that add up to a very serious mouthful.

 


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