The 2013 is a blend of Merlot (85%) with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon (15%). It is fermented and then aged in French oak—33% new—for 18 months before being bottled in the Spring, then bottle-aged for an additional 18 months before release.
“With its amazing aromatic depth and chiseled focus, this bottling joins 2001, 2007 and 2012 in the pantheon of truly great Paloma Merlots. The nose is a dense perfume of mulberry, blackberry, black currant, blueberry, Asian plum sauce, bitter chocolate-covered dark cherry, espresso bean, licorice root, black truffle, humidor-spice, graphite, charcoal, mace and lavender scents. Each of these elements is expressed on the mid-palate, counter-pointing firm “Cabernet-like” tannins and classic mountain structure to create a lean yet almost sinewy mouth-feel. The finish is a tightly-wound but lingering cascade of dark berry, black fig, black licorice, tobacco, charcoal, graphite, truffle, star anise, cedar, sandalwood and foresty-spice, with gentler suggestions of lavender and toasted Marcona almond. If five to twelve years from it’s full maturity, it is a fascinating beauty already.” Don Gillette, Napa Valley Wine Exchange, San Francisco