Proprietors Mark Pulido and Donna Walker have a long history in Napa Valley, building relationships and putting down roots in the community. In the early 1980s, Donna and Mark began making regular trips to the Valley, meeting vintners at iconic cellars where they often tasted from the barrel. They were drawn into tasting room discussions about harvest and the rhythms of crafting wine. Pulido~Walker is a natural outgrowth of the couple’s passion, as collectors, for the place and its promise. Their Mt. Veeder Estate is a testament to the family’s long-term commitment to Napa Valley and view toward the future. They hooked up with Thomas Rivers Brown to create their own brand, and the rest as they say… is history.
“What separates the best valley floor sites from good valley floor sites is their ability to drain,” explains winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. Panek Vineyard blankets a rocky, gently sloping knoll in the shadow of the Mayacamas Mountains along the old Napa River bed wash. The loamy soil, with its highly compacted alluvial deposits of gravel, provides optimal drainage. The valley basin is also more temperate than the hillsides surrounding St. Helena, making it ideal for slower ripening and full development of flavors. These elements coalesce in low yields of reliably superb fruit. Vines at Panek are densely spaced and pruned using the “two straight cane” method, which requires a specific skill set and hands-on, time-intensive attention. The ultimate goal is to allow the “site to shine through” the wine.
Pulido Walker 2015 “Panek Vineyard’ Napa Valley
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Robert Parker 97 Points: “Composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 20 months in French oak, 80% new, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard St. Helena has a deep garnet-purple color and gives up coffee, dried herbs and garrigue notions over a crème de cassis, blueberry pie and red currant jelly core with touches of cumin seed and black pepper. Medium to full-bodied, the taut, muscular palate is laden with savory and black fruit layers, featuring firm, ripe, grainy tannins and lovely freshness, finishing long and earthy. 225 cases produced.”
PS: Pulido Walker lost their home in the Napa fire, as well as part of their “estate” vineyard. Purchases of this wine will assist them in rebuilding.
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