Autumn 2018

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

As another year of “Pursuing the Possible” comes to a close, we fondly reflect on all the wonderful people who shared it with us – working side by side, tasting with us, or joining us at the table. Although the vineyards are now quiet, we know that underground the roots are seeking nutrients to begin to grow anew, anticipating the New Year just as we are.

We feel grateful for an exceptional inaugural harvest and the opportunity to make wines that authentically express the beauty of Napa Valley. Whatever your traditions this season, may they be full of joy. We lift our glass to share a toast with you for a wonderful holiday season with family and friends!!

Upcoming 2016 Pulido~Walker Release from Panek Vineyard

Our winemaker, Thomas Rivers Brown, notes, “The 2016 Pulido~Walker from Panek Vineyard shows a good mixture of acidity and tannins resulting in a beautiful balance of structure and luscious fruit. The wine is darker, with more black fruit qualities balancing the caramelized sugar aspects of red fruit. The 2016 Panek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine destined to enchant for decades to come.”

We celebrate the release of this extraordinary vintage of Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon from Panek Vineyard with your invitation to purchase arriving in January.

Congratulations to Our “Top Gun” Winemaker –Thomas Rivers Brown featured on the cover of Wine Spectator

“Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown has become one of Napa’s most accomplished winemakers, handily guiding production of some of the region’s most distinctive wines and sought-after brands. Yet his private nature and desire to deflect attention make him a man many know only by name and reputation.” James Laube, Wine Spectator, November 15, 2018

This is such a well-deserved honor for an amazing, talented friend and fellow South Carolinian. Congratulations Thomas!

Estate Vineyard Update: Inaugural Harvest

This fall we celebrated a long-awaited milestone in our patient “Pursuit of the Possible” with the first harvest from our glorious Mount Veeder Estate.  The stunning tiny berry clusters of Chardonnay fruit were picked at first light on September 10. The inaugural release of our burgundian style Pulido~Walker Estate Chardonnay will be in 2020

The 2018 harvest of our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon grapes occurred over a couple of weeks during the last half of October as we picked each block only when it was ready. Under the watchful eye of our winemaker and viticulturist, we carefully dropped fruit with several passes on both green and red ensuring only the highest quality fruit remained for harvest.

Under the watchful eye of winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown….

Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown observed, “The inaugural harvest from the Pulido~Walker Estate vineyard will be the big revelation for 2018, one of the only vineyards that tasted amazing when we picked it and colored up extremely quick in tank. The 2018 vintage is the greatest combination of quality and quantity I have ever seen. This was a great year to get started with the vintage paralleling the yields of the 2012 vintage and the spectacular quality of 2013 vintage.”

The Estate fruit has fermented in four small-lot tanks segmented by clonal selection and vineyard block location. This approach allows us to observe the development by individual block and the rootstock’s expression of the site. Our learnings grow with every vintage and allow us to continually improve our farming and winemaking. Our Estate wine will age in 100% French Oak barrel for the next 20 months and then rest quietly in bottle for at least another year.

We greatly anticipate sharing our milestone first Mount Veeder Estate Cabernet Sauvignon wines with you in late 2021.


Summer 2018

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

As we write this issue of our newsletter, the promise and rebirth of Spring has transitioned into Summer, lifting us past the hardships of last October as we now anticipate and enjoy all the excitement and activities taking place in the vineyard over the next several months. At our winery, we just finished bottling the 2016 vintage of Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon, which is shaping up to be another spectacular vintage.

We hope this Summer renews your spirits and provides many opportunities to share pleasures of the table with friends and family.

Upcoming 2015 Pulido~Walker Release from Melanson Vineyard

Jeb Dunnuck, formerly of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, characterizes the 2015 Pulido~Walker single-vineyard designate from the higher-elevation site of Melanson Vineyard on Pritchard Hill as “…an incredible wine that flirts with perfection…this beauty offers saturated purple color as well as heavenly notes of purple fruits, white flowers, coffee beans, and building, undeniable minerality. Full-bodied, perfectly balanced and layered, with an incredible mix of elegance and richness, it’s a tour de force from winemaker Thomas Brown that will keep for two to three decades.” 99 points —, December 2017.

Our winemaker, Thomas Rivers Brown, notes, “The wine is a pure expression of black fruits, minus the tsunami of tannin one might expect from a vintage this inky dark. The finish is seemingly endless.”

We celebrate the release of this extraordinary vintage of Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon from Melanson Vineyard in August. Shipments will begin in October, weather permitting.

High-Quality Fruit at Lower Yields

The 2015 vintage was an eventful growing season across the valley. The result: high-quality fruit at much lower yields. Unseasonably warm weather early in the year accelerated bud break and bloom, then a cold snap in late Spring resulted in an uneven fruit set. Cold spells can have a heightened impact on higher-elevation vineyards in particular, as happened with the Melanson Vineyard in 2015.

Although yield declined by about a third, the shatter we saw during Spring bloom paved the way for a big bump in quality and flavor concentration as the remaining fruit matured. “A naturally small crop has a huge effect on quality,” our winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown explains. “We can’t duplicate that by dropping fruit.” Berries in the Melanson Vineyard hung longer and in looser clusters for the remainder of the 2015 season, ultimately making the Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon from this site a better wine.

Due to the very limited production of this vintage (only 215 cases) allocations will be adjusted. We apologize in advance if we are unable to provide you an allocation during this release.

New Lightweight Wine Box Available for this Release

Pulido~Walker single-vineyard designate wines are normally packaged in our custom three-bottle birchwood box. However, beginning with the 2015 Melanson Vineyard release, we will also offer a lighter-weight three-pack carton. If you prefer the carton option, be sure to select it when placing your order.

Estate Vineyard Update

Through the dormancy of winter, our Mt. Veeder Estate vineyard was active with preparation for the growing season with pruning, wire adjustments, irrigation inspections, weeding, and mowing. All this early work in the vineyard has been completed with our team’s characteristic meticulous attention to detail.

By early May, the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon were both growing well, with clusters clearly viewed. Shoot-thinning protocols were initiated. By early June, both had progressed through bloom and the fruit set.

Our post–Bottle Rock Music Festival afterglow continued with an all-hands team meeting in our Estate Vineyard. With Thomas and our vineyard manager, Josh Clark, we walked the blocks reviewing the four clones of Cabernet Sauvignon and three clones of Chardonnay grapes.

All the vines are healthy and we are excited about the fourth leaf showing high promise for our inaugural harvest this Fall. The next activity will be dropping green clusters—perhaps even two times for focus on low yields and exceptional quality. Everything is tracking for a high-quality inaugural vintage from our Mt. Veeder Estate.


We wish you a Summer filled with family, friends, and wine!


2015 Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon,
Melanson Vineyard

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 20 months in French oak, 90% new, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard Pritchard Hill has a deep purple-black color and a rock star nose of black currant cordial, dark chocolate, black forest cake and licorice with touches of charcoal, Chinese five spice, potpourri and black soil. Full-bodied, concentrated and completely seducing in the mouth, the palate offers bold, beautiful black fruit and exotic spice layers, framed by velvety tannins, finishing very long and perfumed. 210 cases were made. 97+ points


Jeb Dunnuck,
December, 2017

From a site on Pritchard Hill, just across from Colgin, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard is an incredible wine that flirts with perfection. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged 20 months in 80% new French oak, this beauty offers a saturated purple color as well as heavenly notes of purple fruits, white flowers, coffee beans, and building, undeniable minerality. Full-bodied, perfectly balanced and layered, with an incredible mix of elegance and richness, it’s a tour de force from winemaker Thomas Brown that will keep for 2-3 decades. 99 points

2015 Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon,
Panek Vineyard

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

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. 97 points


Jeb Dunnuck,
December, 2017

The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard comes from a larger vineyard in St. Helena and was brought up in 80% new French oak. This full-bodied, deep, concentrated 2015 has considerable opulent and decadence, as well as terrific notes of ripe plums, currants, decaying flowers and white chocolate. Despite all the fruit, it has plenty of tannins, and I suspect will keep for 2+ decades. 97 points

Autumn 2017

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Counting Our Blessings

The devastating fires in Napa and Sonoma County this fall impacted many of our friends, collectors, fellow vintners, as well as our community. But as planning for the future begins, we reflect on how fortunate we are, and count our blessings as we continue to pursue the possible.

The most precious gifts during our journey into the world of wine have been the incredible friendships and fabulous experiences that come from sharing our wines with you. We are so grateful to be here in the Napa Valley—this community has given us far more than we ever expected.

We are thankful for the overwhelming support so generously offered over the last two months. Tears come to our eyes just thinking about your concern and prayers. The proposals of driving cross-country to haul away debris and bringing high-tech “Fisher-Price” tool kits to help us rebuild brought smiles to our faces and much-needed laughter. All the messages of encouragement gave us strength—we will be forever grateful for these acts of great kindness.

While the fires have stopped burning, there are many who still need emergency services to recover. Pulido~Walker has made a significant contribution to the Napa Valley Community Foundation relief fund that supports fire victims with food, temporary housing, medical and mental health care, child care, and livestock and animal care. Please join our family in helping those impacted by the disaster.

Pulido~Walker Wines—The News Is Great!

Our Mt. Veeder Estate Vineyard
As the skies have cleared and life returns to the normal rhythms of autumn in Napa, our vineyard management team has completed their post-fire assessment of the Pulido~Walker Estate Vineyard on Mt. Veeder. Thankfully, the news is positive. Eighty percent of the vineyard is intact with no damage, and we will be restoring impacted areas before next spring. We are ecstatic to share that the inaugural estate harvest will take place as originally planned next fall!

Our other Vineyard Sites, Production and Storage Facilities
All other Pulido~Walker vineyard sites and production and storage facilities were thankfully not touched by the fires. The 2016 and 2017 vintages are safely stored in barrel.

The 2015 Pulido~Walker single-vineyard designate wines are now resting in bottle and will be ready for release in just a few months. The wine promises to be as exceptional as ever.

Upcoming 2015 Pulido~Walker Release from Panek Vineyard

After three consecutive Napa Valley vintages described variously as “classic,” “textbook,” and “near perfect,” 2015 produced high-quality fruit at much lower yields—small berries with incredible skin density.

The 2015 Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon from Panek Vineyard is exceptionally dark for this site, yet not overly tannic. Our winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown reports the wine is showing excellent tannin lurking underneath the initial generous fruit profile. The 2015 Panek has a dark, seductive quality that derives from densely concentrated fruit. It has all the concentration of the similarly dark 2013 vintage, while the trademark fruit-forward quality of the 2015 exponentially increases the pleasure factor.

As a result, Thomas says, the wine is drinking beautifully young. So while it may take a concerted effort to lay down some of the 2015 Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon from Panek Vineyard, those who do so stand to be richly rewarded.

We will be celebrating the release of this extraordinary vintage in January, with three 750 ml bottles packaged in our custom birchwood box for $585.

Michelin Awards Gala

We are honored that Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon was one of the Napa Valley wines selected by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate team of experts for the Michelin Guide awards gala in New York City on October 30. Dinner was prepared by three of the world’s most renowned Michelin-starred chefs: Eric Ripert, Daniel Boulud, and our very own Ken Frank of La Toque, Napa.

Our passion and commitment to the “pursuit of the possible” continues in every aspect of our lives as we rebuild our dreams on this magical hillside.

From the bottom of our hearts, we wish you all a wonderful holiday season!


Wine Country Fires Update

Friday, October 20th, 2017

Napa Valley, CA Pulido~Walker proprietors Mark Pulido and Donna Walker provide the following updates on their vineyards, winery, and Estate after the apocalyptic Wine Country fires:

Fortunately, the Pulido~Walker family and team are all safe. “We are feeling extremely blessed that Donna and her friends escaped with no time to spare and we are forever grateful for the first responders’ brave and tireless efforts to protect all during these devastating fires,” said Mark. “The outpouring of thoughts, notes, and prayers from many around the world has meant so much to us. We are so thankful for the concern and care of our friends and the community.”

Mending Wall Winery in St. Helena, where the wines are produced, has not been affected. The winery is the partnership of three winemaking families: Pulido~Walker, the Dotzlers, and Thomas Rivers Brown. The 2016 and 2017 vintages are safely stored in barrels at Mending Wall, and the 2015 vintage of Pulido~Walker single vineyard designate wines are resting in bottle for release in early 2018. The warehouse in American Canyon where their wine is stored has not been impacted. In addition, Pulido~Walker’s two other vineyard sites, Melanson Vineyard on Pritchard Hill and Panek Vineyard in St. Helena, thankfully have not been touched by the fires.

Sadly, the Napa Valley Partrick Fire completely destroyed Mark and Donna’s estate home and gardens on Monday, October 9. The Pulido~Walker Estate Vineyard on Mt. Veeder suffered partial damage, according to initial photographs from the site, which may impact the planned 2018 inaugural harvest.

“Our magical hillside in Napa represents a lifetime of dreams and a decade of passion and hard work,” says Mark. “We will rebuild for a better tomorrow with our dedication to the patient ‘Pursuit of the Possible.’”

If you would like to assist the Napa community, please join Pulido~Walker in making a contribution to the Community Foundation of Napa Valley relief fund that is helping local nonprofits aid fire victims with food, temporary housing, medical and mental health care, childcare, and livestock and animal care.


Summer 2017

Monday, July 24th, 2017

Welcome to summer! We hope this newsletter finds you enjoying the longer days, abundant sunshine, and a chance to relax and reconnect with friends and family. We’re excited to share with you another important milestone in our winemaking journey: this year marks the release of our fifth vintage of single-vineyard designate Cabernet Sauvignon wines. We can hardly believe it’s been five years since our inaugural 2010 Pulido~Walker vintage—and they have been very busy years!

In 2014, we partnered with our winemaker, Thomas Rivers Brown, and the Dotzler family, proprietors of Outpost, to create a new winery for the production of Pulido~Walker wines. Mending Wall is a winemaker’s winery—built to Thomas’ detailed specifications and requirements, and consistent with our desire to craft exceptional wine. Our partnership in this new winemaking facility enables us to maintain complete quality control over every detail of production. The addition of optical scanning technology, for example, allows even greater precision in selecting the very best berries for Pulido~Walker wines.

Another long-awaited milestone in our “Pursuit of the Possible” is the planting of our Mt. Veeder Estate Vineyard. With the guidance of a top viticulturist and climate scientist, we gained an in-depth understanding of what our site offers. Over the course of five years, we collected and analyzed weather station data and studied more than a hundred soil pits on our property. Our research informed the varietals and clones that Thomas Rivers Brown meticulously selected. Nearly a decade after acquiring the Mt. Veeder Estate, we determined the best 15 acres of the 115-acre estate for planting our own first growth vineyard—75% to Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% to Chardonnay.

We look forward to the maturity of these vines. When that time comes, the same exacting standards and dedication to quality used on our Pritchard Hill and St. Helena wines will be applied to the crafting of singular Mt. Veeder Estate wines.

Upcoming 2014 Pulido~Walker Release from Melanson Vineyard

Robert Parker characterizes the 2014 Pulido~Walker single-vineyard designate from the higher elevation site of Melanson Vineyard on Pritchard Hill as “…a beauty…Black raspberry, blueberry, white flowers, forest floor, graphite and camphor are all present in the aromatics and flavors of this full-bodied wine that has magnificent fruit purity and an expansive, large-scale mouthfeel, but no heaviness or cloying characteristics.” 97 points. —The Wine Advocate, #227, October 2016.

“The 2014 Pulido~Walker from Melanson Vineyard shows plenty of structure in a wine that has shown almost perfect balance from the start. Rather than working to tame the tannins, 2014 has been about allowing them to frame the finish. Each element is present in near-ideal proportions thanks once again to our base lot of Clone 7 blended with Clone 337 to punch up the fruit.” —Thomas Rivers Brown

We celebrate the release of our extraordinary fifth vintage of Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon from Melanson Vineyard in August. Shipments will begin in October, weather permitting.

Pulido~Walker Hosts Vintner Dinner at
Auction Napa Valley 2017

On Friday evening of Auction Napa Valley (ANV), we hosted an intimate vintner dinner at our Mt. Veeder Estate. Twenty-five guests were treated to a five-course meal prepared by Chef Sean O’Toole of Napa’s acclaimed TORC Restaurant, featuring such delicacies as Bluefin tuna O-TORO with Osetra caviar, Hudson Valley Foie Gras (so amazing that it’s hard to describe—it included the best corn ice cream sandwich you can imagine!!!), 60-day dry-aged beef rib, and a spectacular explosion of mignardises after dessert.

The evening began with a 2014 Rivers-Marie B. Thieriot Chardonnay followed by a rare five-vintage vertical tasting of the single-vineyard Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon wines. It was a treat for all of us to see how the vintages are developing and experience the results of our patient “Pursuit of the Possible” from our inaugural to the current release. Guests enjoyed tasting as Thomas Rivers Brown eloquently described the luscious wines. The backdrop for the dinner was a spectacular view of the sparkling lights of Napa and our estate vineyard.

The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) announced that Auction Napa Valley 2017 raised $15.7 million for children’s education and community health nonprofits during its weekend of feverish bidding at the annual celebration of the best of America’s leading wine region. To date, the NVV has given more than $170 million in Auction proceeds to Napa County nonprofits, serving more than 100,000 clients annually. Another remarkable achievement thanks to the generosity of vintners, community volunteers, and wine enthusiasts!

Mt. Veeder Estate Vineyard

Our Mt. Veeder Chardonnay blocks of “old Vine Wente” and “Montrachet” clones are through bloom and the berry set has been established. We are beginning to see small berries, about the size of a pea, forming on the clusters. Our Cabernet Sauvignon ENTAV clones 169, 685, 15, and FPS 30 “See” have also gone through set and although the berries are not quite pea-size, they are beginning to grow as well. Interesting to see the difference in phenological stages between the Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay at this time.

The last block of grafted Chardonnay vines from B. Thieriot Vineyard have now broken bud and are beginning to emerge from behind the protective cartons which we placed on the young vines to prevent damage from nosy critters. We will let those grafted vines grow much taller before training.

Pulido~Walker Estate Olive Oil Wins Awards

The 2016 vintage of Pulido~Walker Estate Olive Oil continues to be highly awarded, having recently earned a gold medal in the Napa Valley Olive Oil Competition. The virgin olive oil was also a triple gold medalist at the YOLO Competition, winning golds in the following categories: Medium Intensity Tuscan Blend, Best in Class for Medium Intensity Tuscan Blend, and Best in Show for all Medium Intensity EVOO.

A Menu of Cabernet Sauvignon-Friendly Appetizers

If you are planning a summertime party and want to pair some great appetizers with your favorite bottle of Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon, here are a few ideas:

  • • Barbecued, grilled, or roasted chicken wings
  • • Grilled Mediterranean turkey meatballs with roasted sweet peppers
  • • Roasted beets sprinkled with Parmesan breadcrumbs and pistachio
  • • Baked brie in a puff pastry with raspberries and pecans
  • • Barbecue pork ribs or chops with pomegranate glaze
  • • Grilled lamb chops with rosemary
  • • Grilled veal chops with a Cabernet sauce
  • • Roasted portabella with chimichurri sauce
  • • Mushroom and cheese empanadas
  • • Beef sliders with maple bacon, and aged cheddar cheese
  • • Cheeses: aged blue, brie, camembert on crostini

Autumn 2016

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

A Season for Giving Thanks

This season, gratitude has been on our minds. With another beautiful harvest completed and in barrel, and Thanksgiving just around the corner, we feel extraordinarily blessed by the many gifts brought into our lives through our remarkable journey into winemaking. We are thankful for our amazing team, who are such a pleasure to work with and who enable us to craft extraordinary wine year after year. We are also honored and grateful each time we meet or hear from our wine collectors and appreciators. Please accept our heartfelt thank you for blessing us with your friendship and for including Pulido~Walker in your wine cellars!

Pulido_Walker_Panek_NLOur Upcoming Release: 2014 Panek Vineyard

The ten-year mark seems to be a magical one for Cabernet Sauvignon plantings in Napa Valley. Panek Vineyard hit its tenth anniversary with a 2014 wine that shows a savory element which brings a pleasant complexity to what has been a consistent, generously fruited palate. With this vintage, we return to the familiar red-black fruit profile, greater acidity, and caramelized sugar qualities that distinguish this Cabernet Sauvignon from its St. Helena site.

2014 Pulido~Walker from Panek Vineyard represents the best of the 2012 and 2013 vintages wrapped up in one great wine. This extraordinary single-vineyard wine will become available in January, three 750ml bottles packaged in our custom birchwood box for $585.

Pulido_Walker_Hand-label_NL_rev2014 Vintage Labeling and Pack-out

Our 2014 Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvigno wines are hand labeled, wrapped in tissue, and packed in custom birchwood boxes. The wine will rest until shipped in February (Panek Vineyard) and October (Melanson Vineyard).

Pulido_Walker_Optical-Scan_1_NL Pulido_Walker_Optical-Scan_2_NL2016 Harvest Notes from Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown

The 2016 vintage looks to continue our run of great vintages in Napa—now five in a row! Yields were all over the place but quality was consistently high. The later pick lots were especially strong—they colored up quickly and the aromatics were clean and focused, even early in the ferments. I think we have the best ever set of lots from Panek. Even some of the traditional laggards look strong which should make for some enjoyable blending sessions.

Melanson may have had the lowest yield relative to historical average of all the vineyards we dealt with this year. Everything looks promising. Wine was an electric opaque purple color after a day in the tank. Tannins built really slowly in tank due to the fruit’s complete ripeness, so we were able to go a little longer on skins and extract the best from the vintage.

With the state-of-the-art optical scanning technology at our winery, we are able to have even greater precision in selecting the best berries to our exacting standards for the Pulido~Walker single-vineyard wines.

Pulido_Walker_Clonal-map_NLOur Estate Vineyard: A Discussion with Viticulturist Kelly Maher and Thomas Rivers Brown

What went into consideration when selecting the specific clones of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay for planting at the Pulido~Walker Estate Vineyard site?

TRB: In planting a large percentage of the Pulido~Walker Estate vineyard to Cabernet Sauvignon, clone selection was key. Late-ripeners like Clone 4 and Clone 6 aren’t suited to the cooler climate of the estate overlooking the San Pablo Bay, so we selected very high quality clones that consistently ripen early, with medium-range ripeners planted in the warmest spots to give us blending possibilities.

Chardonnay was reserved for the cooler plantable sites, where clay soil predominates. We chose the two highest quality clones available “Old Vine Wente” and “Montrachet.”

KM: As far as clonal selections, we currently have 18 separate blocks—15 blocks are Cabernet Sauvignon and 3 blocks are Chardonnay. For Cabernet, we chose 4 different clones. Three of the clones are originally from France: 169, 685, and 15. We also utilized one historic domestic clone, FPS 30, which was originally the “See” clone, selected a long time ago from the See Ranch in Yountville. These clones were all selected based on historical performance and quality, as well as optimally pairing clones to the site. In regards to Chardonnay, as mentioned above, we planted “Old Wente” and “Montrachet,” two of Thomas Brown’s favorite clones.

Pulido_Walker_Kelli_Willard_NLMeet Kelli Willard: Managing Customer Experience for Pulido~Walker

We are pleased to introduce Kelli Williard, our friendly and knowledgeable point of contact for Pulido~Walker collector inquiries. Kelli is integral to our winery support services and is managing orders, fulfillment, and inventory tracking. She will be happy to answer any questions regarding your wine orders or shipment tracking.

Kelli has been working in Napa Valley for a number of years, primarily with limited production, premium wineries. Having the unique ability to wear many hats, she is keenly committed to customer support and operations at the highest level. Kelli’s experience includes the role of general manager at BRAND Napa Valley on Pritchard Hill and business manager for Schrader Cellars.

Growing up in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Kelli discovered a love of wine while attending Oregon State University. She and her husband moved to the Napa Valley 19 years ago to be closer to the vineyards, to build a successful custom swimming pool and landscape construction company, and to raise their two sons. Kelli is passionate about spending family time with their pets, watching football, savoring great food and wine, and teeing off for the occasional round of golf.

For questions about our wine or for assistance with your order, please contact Kelli at or call 707-226-1900.

Summer Recipe & Pairing Suggestion:

This recipe is a twist on the traditional Thanksgiving turkey and was inspired by The Purple Pig in Chicago, with Estate Ambassador Daniel Ha incorporating ingredients that are growing in our garden at the Mt. Veeder Estate. Serve with a glass of the 2012 Pulido~Walker Panek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon for a perfect holiday pairing.


Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Marinade
  • 3 turkey legs, skin on (total weight approx. 2½ pounds)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2½ tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp of nutmeg
  • Confit
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 sprig sage
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 5½ cups of duck fat melted
  • Sides
  • ⅓ cup pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Pulido~Walker extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 pinch salt, be generous
  • 2 bunch of Dino Kale cut in half lengthways, then chopped into thirds (bottom of stems removed)
  • 2 heads of radicchio quartered
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 Fuyu persimmons sliced thin on mandolin
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and strained
  • 1 liter vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste



1) Place the fennel seeds and peppercorns into a small pan over medium-high heat. As soon as the fennel begins to pop, swirl the spices around and turn off the heat. Place the toasted spices into a mortar and pound with the pestle until coarsely ground. Stir in the brown sugar, salt and cayenne. Rub the spice mix over the turkey legs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for a minimum 3 hours, or preferably overnight.

Confit (can be done a day in advance)
1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2) Take a saucepan or Dutch oven-style pan that will fit the turkey legs snugly and in one layer. Place the herb sprigs on the bottom of the pan.

3) Remove the turkey from the fridge, pat dry with a paper towel and lay the legs over the herbs. Dot the whole garlic cloves around the legs. Carefully pour the lard over the turkey legs to cover completely. Put the lid on the pan and cook in the oven for approximately 3 hours.

4) When done, leave the whole pan to cool completely on the stovetop or bench. Remove the turkey legs from the fat and lay them on a plate. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until needed.

1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2) Place the pomegranate molasses, sugar, virgin oil, water and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Add the kale and radicchio and toss gently to coat.

3) Lay the vegetables in a single layer in a large ovenproof dish that will also fit the turkey legs. Take the turkey legs from the fridge and nestle amongst the vegetables bake in the oven, basting halfway through. After 20 minutes, remove the turkey legs, wrap in foil and set aside. Return the tray of vegetables to the oven for another 10 minutes.

4) During the baking process, heat the liter of vegetable oil in a saucepan and deep-fry the garbanzo beans for one minute. Strain beans from the oil and allow them to sit on kitchen towels to absorb any drips. Season with salt.

5) To serve, pull meat from the turkey legs from bone and place over the kale and roasted radicchio and garbanzo beans and drizzle over any juices left in the braising pan and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and persimmon slices.


2011 Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon,
Melanson Vineyard

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard (a site on the glamorous Pritchard Hill) is one of the strongest efforts I have tasted from that vintage. Attractive notes of black raspberries and blueberries intermixed with a background hint of oak are followed by a wine with a creamy, medium to full-bodied texture that cuts a savory, evolved, delicious swath across the palate. It can be drunk now and over the next decade. 93 points

2012 Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon,
Melanson Vineyard

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard, which I tasted and reviewed last year right after bottling, has opened up somewhat and displays a dense ruby/purple color, a big, sweet kiss of blueberry and black raspberry fruit, some creamy oak and a floral underpinning as well as some foresty notes. The wine is medium to full-bodied, rich and ripe, with sweet tannin and a long finish. This beauty should drink well for another 15-20 years. 94 points