With the imminent release of our 2008 Perseid at the end of the week (coinciding with another of the great yearly Meteor showers – the Orionids – this Friday) we were rereading Stephen Tanzer’s recent review. It certainly validated our own view that 2008 is a vintage whose potential rivals, if not outstrips, the much lauded 2007’s. Where 2007 is the powerhouse, the 2008 vintage is defined by perfume and an incredible depth of fruit.
By Stephen Tanzer
This well-placed property in cool Coombsville, with 22 acres of cabernet sauvignon planted on mostly rocky volcanic ash, began bottling wines under their own label in 2005. The owners still sell off 80% of their fruit, to the likes of Etude, Robin Lail, Arietta and Favia. Dawnine and Bill Dyer, who are partners in this project and make the Meteor wines, were out of town at the time of my early March visit. So I tasted new vintages with general manager Jason Alexander, who told me that the team finished harvesting in 2009 the day before the heavy rains began. He’s a big fan of 2008, the “fire and ice” vintage that brought a small crop with what he described as great purity of fruit. He believes 2007 is a more structured wine but I had the feeling that evolving winemaking technique and increasing vine age have produced steadily better wines here in the last few years.
2008 Meteor Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Perseid Napa Valley
($125) Good red-ruby. More refined on the nose than the 2007, offering redcurrant, violet and tobacco. Then energetic and light on its feet, with subtle rock and tobacco flavors perfuming the mouth. Rounder and more pliant than the 2007, seemingly with every bit as much extract. Very sexy, vibrant wine.
2008 Meteor Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Special Family Reserve Napa Valley
($300) Bright red-ruby. Reticent but very pure nose hints at flowers, licorice and dark chocolate. Dense and sweet on the palate, but with an almost painful impression of energy leavening the lush middle palate. Dark berries are currently dominated by powerful rocky minerality. This saturates the entire mouth and spreads out impressively on the very long, ripely tannic finish. A superb example of this vineyard–and of the vibrancy of Coombsville cabernet.
The inaugural Los Angeles Food and Wine has been over the 48 hours and I have yet to recover.
4 days, 100 famed (and infamous) chefs, over 300 wines and over 70 events spanning from the Santa Monica pier to the entire center of the gargantuan L.A. Live complex. It was simultaneously exhilarating (many of the chefs out did themselves with some of the greatest dishes I have ever tasted at large event, let alone one attended by nearly 3000 people (Bouchon’s raw bar alone was enough to demand a ticket), exhausting (sampling 50, yet alone 300 wines in 80 degree heat is an exercise in palate fatigue and the importance of consuming vast quantities of water) and inspiring. Take every other wine event in the U.S. and amplify it exponentially – this was the experience of LA Food and Wine 2011.
Meteor Vineyard took part in several of the key events of the weekend including the Red Carpet Premier on Thursday night, an exquisite lunch with Michael Cimarusti and Richard Reddington and the Saturday night Lexus Live in the Plaza. We look forward to being back next year!
The Taste of Coombsville
Coombsville may be Napa Valley’s best-kept secret. For decades, this small region has quietly provided fruit to some of Napa’s most sought after wines. No longer our little secret, recent accolades from The World of Fine Wine, San Francisco Magazine, 7×7 and JustLuxe have made it official. Coombsville is Coolsville. Meteor Vineyard is proud to be at the epicenter of the region defining THE Taste of Coombsville. We think you’ll agree our 2008 Meteor Vineyard Perseid exudes the highest level of taste yet.
2008 Meteor Vineyard Perseid Cabernet Sauvignon
Meteor Vineyard Perseid Cabernet Sauvignon marries the elements of our clonally diverse planting in one singularly expressive wine. Meteor Vineyard is a collaborative project of vineyard proprietors Barry and Tracy Schuler and longtime Napa Valley winemakers Bill and Dawnine Dyer. Located on a knoll in Napa Valley’s Coombsville region, our unique combination of elevation, aspect, and stony, rich volcanic soil produces some of Napa Valley’s most distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon. While the vintage is small with just over 500 cases, the quality and purity of the 2008 vintage is truly spectacular.
From the Vineyard – “The 2008 vintage looked tenuous at the outset, beginning with an extremely dry winter and culminating in frosts that ‘naturally thinned’ nearly 30% of the crop. Erratic weather at bloom led to uneven fruit development, requiring multiple trips through the vineyard and careful thinning throughout the remaining months to ensure even ripeness. When the fruit reached perfect ripeness the first week of October we harvested under near perfect conditions. The results are exceptional.” Mike Wolf, Vineyard Manager
From the Winemaker – “Aromas of ripe blackberry, wild cherry and currant meld with hints of smoky sweet tobacco and clove. The palate displays rich mouth watering fruit with ripe tannins and a soft silky texture. The finish is heady and long, with an impression of warmth that carries the aromatics and suffuses the senses. Though youthful, this wine is showing beautifully!” Dawnine Dyer, Winemaker and Partner
From the General Manager – “While the press remained enamored with the 2007 vintage, an unsung classic aged gracefully in the cellar. 2008 is proving to be one among a number of legendary vintages in Napa Valley displaying incredible purity of fruit coupled with supple texture and bold but refined tannins.” Jason Alexander, General Manager
Secure your Allocation – Release Date October 20, 2011
Of limited production, the quality and purity of the 2008 vintage is truly spectacular.
We invite you to secure your 2008 Meteor Vineyard Perseid allocation beginning Thursday October 20, 2011 (coinciding with the Orionids meteor shower) by visiting our website at www.meteorvineyard.com and selecting “ Shop”. We are also available to assist you with your order by phone at 707.258.2900.
We hope you enjoy the wines!
The Meteor Vineyard Team