I’m a bit different in my perception of wine. Since I’ve visited so many of the vineyards that I enjoy, I tend to associate the wine to the experience I have with the vineyard visit, the people, and the back-story of each wine. In this case, we visited Barb Richards 2 years ago and while we stood on her deck, she told us about how they farmed their vineyard and the history of Spring Mountain.
Her Paloma Merlot is just perfect. The flavor is a smooth vanilla/blackberry/coffee with little tannin and a solid balance. It will go well with anything and nothing all at the same time. Barb was such an endearing host as she explained the roots of her Merlot and the pride which goes into it. As I drink it, that effort and pride is palpable and reminds me of the first taste I had as we stood in her dining room. My only regret is that we only bought one bottle; that will change on our next visit for sure. If you’re in Napa, email her in advance and schedule a visit – it’s one of the must-do’s in the valley!