Worth the Splurge is a monthly post dedicated to wines that warrant your time and money. These recommendations are based on both my palate and my experiences with the winery. Worth the Splurge wines have my personal seal of approval which means that if you brought a bottle over, not only would I be more than happy to drink it, I’d be ecstatic. This is my little way of (not too subtly) saying, if you buy only one new bottle this month – this is the wine you should try. Cheers!
2012 Judge Palmer Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Select
(sample submitted for review)
This is a wine that’s complex, structured, and beautiful. My favorite memory of Judge Palmer was when we visited the vineyard in early 2016. It was some of the most fun I’ve ever had at a tasting. Palmer Emmitt was our host and a good 80% of the tastings came straight out of the barrel. Palmer, with measuring cup in hand, would climb over this barrel and that, grabbing samples. He’d then swirl it all together and offer us the chance to taste their future wine. He did this over and over again until we nearly had to run out because we were desperately late for our next tasting. So much fun and so much great wine – we cannot wait to go back.
Why should you splurge on this bottle?
The Wine is Awesome
No seriously, it’s a fantastic, well-structured and balanced Cabernet Sauvignon. Being the well-crafted beauty that it is, this bottle is going to be able to handle some age. So if you decide to open it any day soon, be sure to decant it for a few hours to give it its best chance to shine.
2012 was an Epic Year
Perfect growing conditions throughout the year produced some incredible, high quality fruit. And, it is from great fruit that amazing wines are made.
A Great Price
I know $40 may seem pricy, but keep in mind it’s nearly impossible to find a Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa or Sonoma under $75 these days. So, at $40, this is a screaming deal and quite frankly, its worth double the price. You can buy the wine directly through their website.
If a boutique, Bordeaux varietal winery, run by two down-to-earth winemakers is your thing, then please meet Judge Palmer. Its two winemakers, Palmer Emmitt and Michael Scorsone pride themselves on taking an honest and straightforward approach to everything from the way they make their wines to how they deal with customer and partners – just the way Palmer’s grandfather, a small town judge would have done it. They encourage you to ‘break from the herd mentality, eschew the latest trends, and taste their wines with an open mind’.
When people ask me for tasting recommendations in the Sonoma Wine Country, Judge Palmer is (literally) on the top of my list. They are the new super-secret hidden gem and if you’re in Healdsburg – you must stop by. Be sure to make an appointment as there’s no tasting room here. Just a small, very intimate, boutique winery setting where either Palmer or Michael will be pouring for you personally.