The 2012 Jackson Hole Wine Auction kicked off Wednesday evening with a private tasting at the 3 Creek Ranch just outside downtown Jackson (where our freinds and fellow Coombsville vintners the Ackerman Family spend part of their year - stunning!). Some serious wines were represented; Meteor Vineyard, Ziata from Karen Cakebread, Ackerman Family, Oakville Ranch, Kistler, Parry Cellars, Porter Family and Sciandri, to name a few.
Thursday ramped up the activity with the Taste of Jackson Hole mid way up the mountain at Jackson Hole Resorts Coulior Restaurant (I would have liked to see Jon Grant's Couloir poured at the namesake restaurant....) with over 50 wineries and some of the hottest local chefs represented.
Friday was comprised of a number of fun events including the "Fashion and Wine" show at the Shooting Star Resort followed by the Hole in One Challenge for $250k in prize money. Regret that no one sunk the shot. Private dinners at stunning estates around the valley rounded out the day.
Saturday is when the real fun begins. This year the auction was themed towards California so the day kicked off with a "Boutique California Wineries Tasting" at Osteria Restaurant in the Hotel Terra.
Guests then headed into the tent in the Teton Village commons to persue the silent auction lots (and snack on some delicious tastes and wines) before heading into the Walk Festival Hall for the live lots. If this was not enough the entire room headed to the Four Seasons Restaurant for a spectaular gala dinner to wrap up the event!
We look forward to returning soon!
Auction Napa Valley is one of our favorite events of the year. Vintners from accross the valley join with wine lovers from around the world to raise funds for education, medical services, shelters and myriad other organizations that fulfill the needs of Napa Valley residents.
Bidding is now LIVE for the E-Auction
When the official announcement designating Coombsville as Napa Valley's 16th American Viticultural Area was released fine and rare wine lovers across the world scratched their heads wondering—where is Coombsville? Spend a leisurely day learning about what winemakers and vineyard managers have known for years—Coombsville is one of the most unique regions for fine wine in Napa Valley.
Vineyard manager Mike Wolf will start your day with a tour of Meteor Vineyard and a discussion of the elements that make Coombsville distinctive. Winemaker/partner Dawnine Dyer will then lead the six of you through a complete vertical tasting of Meteor Vineyard's releases (as well as a look forward to wines not yet released). From there you will adjourn to the deck for a leisurely lunch featuring the Meteor Vineyard garden and some treasures from the cellar.
This lot for three couples also includes a three-bottle vertical per couple of 2006 Meteor Vineyard Estate, 2007 Perseid and 2008 Perseid.
To be scheduled for a mutually agreeable date, prior to June 2013. Summer months recommended. Lot is non-transferable.
3 - 750ml 2006
3 - 750ml 2007
3 - 750ml 2008
The drama of Napa's 2011 growing season still looms large and an unusually dry winter had the entire gower community bracing for the worst. But Mother Nature took a chill-pill and delivered a very wet early spring. Bud break arrived right on schedule and the vines sprung into action with time-lapse like speed.
You can take a walk around the vinyeard by viewing this gallery of "living pictures" shot with the new Lytro camera. The Lytro captures light waves vs pixels and allows a viewer to change the focal point by clicking on various parts of the picture. You can give it a try in the picture above - click on Meteor's signature Blue Oak on the horizon and watch it come into focus. Then click on the leaf in the foreground. Enjoy the full gallery.
Hand selected by the row, by the cluster and by the barrel–this wine represents the absolute finest Meteor Vineyard offers. With just 95 cases, rave reviews and a restaurant list that reads like a who’s who, what leaves our cellar is going to disappear in a flash.
“If Coombsville had an epicenter, it’s Meteor Vineyard…This may, in fact, be Coombsville’s cru.” Patrick Comiskey Wine & Spirits Magazine
“The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is a gorgeous wine layered with mocha, black cherries, and menthol. Warm spiced notes continue to develop in the glass as this extroverted, deeply expressive wine shows off its pedigree and class. This finish is simply striking. ” Antonio Galloni The Wine Advocate
To make these wines a part of your cellar CLICK HERE. Or if you prefer a more personal touch, contact us b y phone at 707.258.2900 or via email at Jason@meteorvineyard.com. We anticipate shipping these wines early April 2012.
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 pure cassis and sun warmed black berries meld seamlessly with notes of mocha, fennel, sweet tobacco and filberts. The rich, plush mouth feel explodes with flavor and intensity, bolstered by supple tannins and lovely oak integration. Though this wine will benefit from time in the cellar, it is absolutely gorgeous.” Dawnine Dyer, Winemaker
From the Sommelier: “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. A classic example of a “shadow vintage” as journalists and wine critics have returned to their early notes where clarity of view was “shadowed” by the tremendous praise for the 2007 vintage. Can there be two incredible vintages back to back? The proof is in the bottle.” Jason Alexander, Sommelier and General Manager
Be one of the few to enjoy our finest.
We despise all of the “top ten” lists that are the year end ritual so we always wait for the new year and it is never 10. This year we are at an even dozen. If the Mayan’s got it right this will be our last list of anything.
Meteor Vineyard Top Twelve of 2011
2012 promises to be even better, with Cabernet for Connoisseurs, Sun Valley, Napa Valley and Jackson Hole Wine Auction’s as well as Pebble Beach Food and Wine already in the works.
We wish you all the best in 2012.
P.S. 2008 Special Family Reserve will be released late March 2012. Mark your calendars!
When Robert Parker announced that he was stepping aside as the critic for Napa Valley wines, passing the power of pen to Antonio Galloni, a collective gasp rose from the valley floor. Many winery marketing plans, and, many would argue, wine making plans, are reputed to be built around the words and 2 (and sometimes 3) digit number printed in the Wine Advocate.
I was personally interested in the how Galloni’s experience tasting wines from Italy would inform his overall view of the wines from Napa; particularly the wines from Coombsville where the triptych of acid, tannin and fruit often combine very differently from other areas of the valley.
Upon first review it appears that Galloni tempered some of the extremes, particularly among the top tier of scores. No tremendous shocks in the sense of icons being knocked from pedestal or unsung heroes instantly launched into the stratosphere, just a moderate and balanced approach to the wines. Of course perspective, particularly perspective derived from years of tasting the same wines, will broaden with time.
Given our focus on balance over power and elegance over extraction we have always been pleasantly surprised when the Wine Advocate scores are released, though I must admit that I thought the background in Italian wines would heighten his interest in the wines from Meteor Vineyard. In the meantime we find ourselves once again among the top tier of wines in the review and are happy to keep company with the likes of Bond, Kristine Ashe and Hourglass.
Wine Advocate reviews from Issue #198
2008 Meteor Vineyard Perseid Cabernet Sauvignon
“The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Perseid is a gorgeous, fleshy wine. Finessed, supple tannins frame layers of dark red fruit, spices, tobacco, flowers, leather and licorice that emerge in this impeccably polished, mid-weight Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2008 Perseid should continue to drink well over the next decade or so. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.” Antonio Galloni
2008 Meteor Vineyard Special Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
“The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is a gorgeous wine layered with mocha, black cherries, and menthol. Warm spiced notes continue to develop in the glass as this extroverted, deeply expressive wine shows off its pedigree and class. This finish is simply striking. The 2008 Reserve will be fascinating to follow over the next decade, give or take. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020.” Antonio Galloni
2009 Meteor Vineyard Perseid Cabernet Sauvignon
“The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Perseid comes across as rich, dark and sensual, with expressive layers of dark red fruit, flowers and licorice. It shows lovely depth and persistence from start to finish. Hints of mocha, spices and mint add layers of complexity and nuance. This is a fabulous showing. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.” Antonio Galloni
Thank you for all of your comments on our recent Thanksgiving note. We hope you enjoyed Stuart Brioza’s recipe - (perfect for a cool fall evening and a bottle of Meteor). This year’s menu coupled Meteor classics with a new twist.
While preparing the dish I simply called “So a Turkey Met a Pig at a Bar” (which early evening looked something like this)…
What? This isn’t unusual, it happens all the time. A turkey and a pig walk into a bar, and the pig tells the turkey… Though, this being a kitchen in the midst of preparing Thanksgiving, by the end of the evening they looked like this.
My mind immediately started running through the list of perfect wines we could pull from the cellar…
While aged Bordeaux, Brunello, Burgundy and Napa classics made sense (and were ultimately consumed), the PERFECT bottle jumped to mind – a wine that has aged gracefully in the cellar since 2004…
You thought 05 was our first vintage? It was our first OFFICIAL vintage, but we made 2 barrels of wine in 04 that has never left our personal cellar. Re-tasting the wine was a revelation in the aging ability of the vineyard; pure cabernet characters of blackcurrant, chocolate and darjeeling tea with supple tannins, incredible length and the distinct minerality that could only come from here…
With two barrels, we don’t have a lot of wine in the cellar, but the time has come to share this beauty.
$195 per 2 pack. Click here to order online. You can also reach us by phone at 707.258.2900. If your state is not available for shipping on our website, please contact us directly.
Barry Schuler and the Meteors
Patrick Comiskey’s December 2011 article in Wine and Spirits Magazine is one of the most thorough articles written about Coombsville. Capturing everything from the historical foundation of the name (Nathan Coombs’ farm, which he called “Willows”, forms the central part of what is now the town of Napa) to an exploration of the complex geologic nature of the regions soils.
A couple of favorite quotes;
“If Coombsville has an epicenter, it’s Meteor Vineyard…”
“When marine incursion layers snake in the Napa Valley from San Pablo Bay, they arrive here first and leave last, resulting in one of the valley’s longest growing seasons.”
“Almost all of the soils of the area are some combination of two components: accumulated landslide debris, something (Jonathan) Swinchatt calls colluvium: and layers of light, flaky volcanic ash, from Mt. George eruptions.”
“In addition to to the colluvium and tuff melange, Meteor’s soils have a high proportion of cobble in the mix. No one is quite sure where this cobble comes from, but the landslide activity may have pushed it there, the way glaciers push debris from one place to another. The drainage that cobble affords the soil, in addition to the air drainage down this west facing slope and the prominent exposure at the top of the knoll all combine to set this site apart. This may, in fact, be Coombsville’s cru.”
The rumors have been rumbling for days about the imminent news. Today it is official – Napa Valley’s Coombsville area has been granted it’s own AVA.
Meteor Vineyard’s own Barry Schuler noted, “Today’s news shines a spotlight on what industry winemakers have known for years. This quiet corner of Napa is capable of producing some of the region’s most exquisite wines.”
The Coombsville Vintners & Growers have announced the approval and designation of Napa Valley’s newest sub-appellation, the Coombsville Appellation. The official Coombsville Appellation designation was made official by the United States Department of the Treasury TTB on December 14, 2011, and makes Coombsville the Napa Valley’s 16th AVA, or American Viticultural Area.
The Coombsville Appellation consists of approximately 11,000 acres and is bound by the Napa River to the west, to the rim of Vaca Range on the east, with altitudes ranging from near sea level at the western edge of the City of Napa, to approximately 1900 ft at Mt. George in the north. The horseshoe-shaped west-facing ridge of the Vaca Range partially encircles the Coombsville area, helping define the north, east and southern boundaries of this newest viticultural area. Coombsville AVA is a sub-appellation of the larger Napa Valley AVA and the multi-county North Coast AVA.
Coombsville Vintner Tom Farella of Farella Vineyard, who co-authored the AVA petition with fellow vintner Brad Kitson, said, “It’s a great day for all of us that have been growing grapes in Coombsville for decades. Coombsville now has its proper place in the Napa Valley lexicon and on the appellation maps. Since the Coombsville name has been in use for so many years, having it placed among the great wine regions of the world feels a little like coming home.”
The Coombsville Appellation is an incredibly distinct area that differs from nearby AVAs in soils, geography and climate. The soils are primarily dominated by the volcanic rhyolitic tuff that comprises the Vaca Range on the eastern side of the Napa Valley.
“I think when people see it on the map they will wonder why it wasn’t there all along because of how it fits into the puzzle pieces of the Napa Valley as a whole. It may have taken awhile to happen, but now it’s locked in and we are very proud of that,” Farella added.
Most of Coombsville’s vineyards are located in the wide alluvial deposits created by the wearing down of the hillsides. These soils are abundant with rock and gravel and, in some areas, are also layered with volcanic ash deposits from Mount George. Separately and in various combinations, these two components provide a variety of planting options specific to each site.
In addition, the close proximity to the San Francisco Bay contributes to the temperate climate of Coombsville. The cooling effects of marine fog occur earlier and last longer than in the more northern regions and temperatures are less extreme during the winter frost season. Bud break is often sooner and harvest is usually later, leading to a longer growing season. These differences impart unique characteristics in the wines that are produced in this region.
Coombsville wines can be recognized by their soft, but significant tannins, which provide excellent structure and mouthfeel, along with underlying layers of earth and mineral flavors. They are quite often approachable yet sophisticated, complex and layered. Primary varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals, Syrah, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
“The members of Coombsville Vintners and Growers welcome the newfound attention to our little corner of Napa Valley. We are excited to showcase the amazing vineyards in Coombsville and the distinct and beautiful wines that are being made in the 16th AVA of Napa Valley,” stated Rebecca Sciandri Griffin, Sciandri Family Vineyards, President of Coombsville Vintners and Growers.
The “Newly Recognized, but Long Established” Coombsville Vintners & Growers welcome visitors to one of the Napa Valley’s historic and most relaxed regions. Coombsville Appellation wineries are primarily family-owned and operated, producing limited quantities of super-premium quality wines. The Coombsville Appellation is a mere one-hour drive from San Francisco, and only minutes from Michelin-starred restaurants and luxury hotels, spas, and B&B’s in the city of Napa.
For more information on the Coombsville Appellation, and the Coombsville Vintners & Growers, please visit http://coombsvillenapa.org/.
For information about Meteor Vineyard please contact General Manager Jason Alexander at 707.258.2900 or Jason@MeteorVineyard.com
2008 Perseid Release
With the 2011 vintage harvested and fermenting slowly in the winery, I wanted to drop you a quick personal note about some news that is sure to excite our entire Meteor Vineyard family.
More than a decade ago we planted Cabernet Sauvignon in a very old, quiet corner of Napa Valley known as Coombsville. No one outside of Napa knew much about this area, but we thought it held a lot of potential.
The micro-climate and rocky, volcanic soil promised to produce some very special fruit and in retrospect, we just might have laid spade to the very last great unplanted property in Napa. A lot has happened since then, and the attention to the unique wines coming from the area has exploded. So much so, that the region of Coombsville is about to take center stage as Napa Valley’s newest AVA or appellation.
Much has already been written recently about the unique characteristics of Coombsville and there is more to come. We will keep you posted on our website and Facebook page (and of course our relentless yacking on Twitter). The bottom line is your Meteor Vineyard collection is going to really appreciate in value.
I do have a sense of urgency to convey since we just released our 2008 Meteor Vineyard Perseid Cabernet. We think it is our most superb vintage and are flattered that it is being lauded as the best the region has to offer. We want to take care of all of those who have supported us historically, but I fear with all of the positive attention it will be difficult to fill all of the demand for our very limited release.
If you can take a moment to let us know if you will be taking possession of your allocation, we will make sure we can fulfill your order. Click here for details on the 2008 Perseid.
Thanks so much, for your interest and make sure you contact us if you are visiting Napa anytime soon.
PS – for further reading on Coombsville check out our Media page.