Wine Talk

Snooth User: Pasha Brioche

My Pick for Wine of the Year

Posted by Pasha Brioche, Nov 8, 2012.


Palumbo has my vote for Wine of the Year.  All year I have been tasting in the valley, and nothing has even come close. Every once in awhile you will find a wine that is so well balanced that speaks to your palate, your senses, and your soul.

Palumbo's 2009 Estate Merlot  $42.00

Limited Quantities.





Reply by CheloSpahn, Nov 8, 2012.

Wow nice one. But I have my doubts.. I think this years best wine Is going to come from Italy.. I vote for

Brunello Di Montalcino Castello Banfi 2006.. A perfect wine.

Reply by EMark, Nov 8, 2012.

Thank you, Pasha.  I'm not much of a Merlot fan, but I'll look for it.

Reply by zufrieden, Nov 8, 2012.

Soft, supple and reputable - so I am told.  Unfortunately, I have not yet had the opportunity to let this wine pass my lips.

Reply by Pasha Brioche, Nov 9, 2012.

Thanks for your comments. I am only speaking of wines from my region.


Reply by Pasha Brioche, Nov 9, 2012.

Cheers from Temecula AVA! Southern California's only major wine region.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Nov 9, 2012.

I think it's a good idea to find some way to limit your wine of the year call, and making it your backyard isn't a bad choice.  Just so long as we're clear on that.  I'd probably pick a wine from my backyard as wine of the year if pressed, but it's hard to pick in any case--there's too many good ones week in and week out.  There have definitely been years where I would say there was a revelation of the year, like the year I first realized I love Spanish wine--that was the year I started posting here.  Or the year I discovered real Rhone-style Syrah.  Wasn't just one wine in any of those cases. 

Reply by Jake Lewis, Nov 9, 2012.

I think what Pasha was attempting to convey was that after a year of trying most of the tasting menu selections (6-7 each) from over 38 wineries in Temecula Valley,  her favorite so far is Palumbo's 2009 Catfish Vineyard Merlot in the varietal category.  

I agree that this particular vintage from Nick and Cindy Palumbo was pleasing with a soft full mouth balance that is rarely seen in this region. Jammy dark fruits on the nose, full palate coverage with the light American oak and raspberry hints coming on the back finish. Unlike other Cab Sauv & Merlots in this area, this one skipped the usual currant, strawberry and spice notes which I found to be refreshing.

Not as dry as one would expect with an estate merlot, but it paired well with Pasha's homemade beef stew before, during and after the meal. ;) To the wine's credit, we also drank it at room temp instead of the ideal and it still faired well. 

Perhaps her title should have been:  Temecula Wine Buzz' 2012 Temecula Valley AVA Varietal pick of the Year... 

Reply by outthere, Nov 9, 2012.

A Merlot for wine of the year? Didn't you see this movie? ;)

Reply by Pasha Brioche, Nov 9, 2012.

This is not a typical Merlot. I guess I should not share since everyone is so negative.

Reply by outthere, Nov 9, 2012.

;) <-----is the sign for a snicker. I see no negativity here. Just mistook you as someone with a sense of humor. Sorry



Reply by napagirl68, Nov 9, 2012.

Thanks, Pasha, for your post and review!

IMO, "wine of the year" is someone's personal favorite, drunk over the past year.  It can be a bit confusing, as it may not denote vintage (ie: Wine of 2006, etc)

But anyway, since I have a LOT of wine in storage, and drink new and old, here and there,.... I would more likely to rate my "winery" of the year, vs. wine of the year.  For me, it was Anglim out of Paso Robles.  A close second would be Taft Street Wines, Sebastopol, CA

Reply by GregT, Nov 10, 2012.

"This is not a typical Merlot. I guess I should not share since everyone is so negative."

I don't get that comment at all. First, I'm not quite sure what a "typical" Merlot is, and second, who was being negative? You're totally free to share whatever you want, and it's appreciated, but why be upset with anyone's comments?

I'd venture to say that most people haven't had that wine - it's from a tiny winery that doesn't have wide distribution and it's from a growing area that probably isn't on anyone's top 10 of the world. The winery will have a hard time getting much traction.

I'm sure it's fine wine and the people who are making it are fine people. I wish them lots of luck because it's a hard slog they have ahead of them.  I don't know if you're affiliated with the winery or not but you seem to be affiliated with some kind of regional marketing or promotional group. That's quite OK but obviously it makes your selection a bit less objective.

Regardless, your post brought the wine to the attention of at least a dozen people who might otherwise never have heard of it. Frankly, I'm glad you shared your thoughts - it's nice to find out about wines that one would otherwise have a hard time discovering. One day I hope to try the wine myself.  Keep posting.

Reply by outthere, Nov 10, 2012.

What he said ^^^^^^^^^^^

Reply by Pasha Brioche, Nov 12, 2012.

Temecula has about 35 wineries in our AVA. After tasting for 11 months, I found "the one" for my palate. I am not affiliated with any winery. I am unbiased, and simply choose my favorite. Everyone whom I have shared with agrees that is is one fine Merlot. Personally I prefer a Cab Franc. This particular wine blew my socks off.  


Cheers,  Happy drinking.

Reply by shsim, Nov 12, 2012.

Thanks for sharing! I will look out for that! It is great to have someone knowlegeable about Temecula region since it is so close to home for me! I went to the website on your profile and was wondering if you are affiliated with the regional organisation then? Just curious ;) Haha I did not think it was meant to be objective from a world wine point of view but more objective from an AVA point of view when i read the post. Good to know! 

And thanks for sharing your favorites too Napagirl! I always wanted to do more exploring in Paso since the last time I went, it was impromptu but turned out very good ( I went west of 101). So im sure a better informed trip would yield some good discoveries! I will check out Anglim next time im there! Likely soon! :) 

Reply by Pasha Brioche, Nov 12, 2012.

I am happy to take anyone for a tour. Call me for prices.





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