Meteor Vineyard

Meteor Blog

Jason Alexander
 
December 4, 2013 | Jason Alexander

Epic Latkes, Verticals and Holiday Greetings


We hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday with family, friends and copious amounts of food, wine and good cheer. Here at Meteor Vineyard, this years convergence of Thanksgiving and Hannukah offered a unique opportunity for Barry to innovate on what is always a spectacular meal. His recipe for "epic latkes" is a must!

To help celebrate this holiday season we're opening up our cellar for you to "build your own vertical" of our award-winning Perseid Cabernet Sauvignon. Select your favorite three vintages from 2005-2010 to fill the vacancies in your collection or send an impressive holiday gift to a colleague, friend or family member.

But our cellar isn't limitless! Only a select number of Meteor Vineyard Perseid vertical packs are available and all will be packaged in a custom wood box. Order by Sunday December 8 for holiday delivery.

Click here to customize your vertical 3 bottle box

The entire Meteor Vineyard team wishes you and your family the happiest of holidays!

Time Posted: Dec 4, 2013 at 3:37 PM
Jason Alexander
 
September 12, 2012 | Jason Alexander

2009 Meteor Vineyard Perseid Release

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 appellation, our unique combination of elevation, aspect and stony, rich volcanic soil produces some of Napa Valley’s most distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon. The seamless combination of richness coupled with balance, purity combined with structure makes 2009 truly distinctive. 

100% Cabernet Sauvignon
40% clone 7, 39% clone 4, 21% clone 337
100% French Cooperage, 65% New (Blend of D &J, Fouquet and Taransaud)
14.6 alc
3.74 pH
5.9TA

From the Vineyard – 2009 was a low rainfall year with most precipitation coming in the spring.  This pattern was perfect for the vineyard and provided ample moisture for the growing season.   Bloom and set were a little late but dodged the spring rains.  Overall 2009 was a mild growing season.  Some concern for a late harvest prompted extra care in thinning and multiple passes were made.  The end of the season was punctuated by 10 days of welcome heat in early October and the fruit came in mid October under excellent conditions.  Mike Wolf, Vineyard Manager

From the Winemaker – Our 2009 Perseid is deep garnet in color with a saturated opaque blue rim.  Complex and exuberant aromas of ripe blackberry, violet and cloves meld with sweet tobacco and currant leaves.  The palate explodes with a combination of red and black fruit, dark chocolate and spice leading to a finely balanced finish. Powerful and silky. Dawnine Dyer, Winemaker

From the Sommelier – The magic of the 2009 vintage lies in its combination of concentration and balance. The long cool growing season allowed for slow ripening and intense flavor development while retaining acidity and mature silky tannins.  This vintage will reward cellaring.  Jason Alexander, Sommelier and General Manager
 

Time Posted: Sep 12, 2012 at 3:43 PM
Meteor Vineyard Team
 
March 12, 2012 | Meteor Vineyard Team

“Pedigree and Class” Define Our 2008 Special Family Reserve

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.

Time Posted: Mar 12, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Jason Alexander
 
January 3, 2012 | Jason Alexander

Inaugural Galloni Napa Valley Reviews Released

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

Time Posted: Jan 3, 2012 at 4:09 PM
Barry Schuler
 
November 24, 2011 | Barry Schuler

A Personal Note from Barry Schuler

2008 Perseid Release

Dear Friends,

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.
Best regards,
Barry
PS – for further reading on Coombsville check out our  Media page.

Time Posted: Nov 24, 2011 at 1:19 PM
Jason Alexander
 
November 18, 2011 | Jason Alexander

Vinography Reviews 2007 Perseid

We have commented several times lately that the 2007 Perseid is finally beginning to blossom.  The youthful cacophony of fruit, acid and tannin have started to meld and mature, producing a wine of incredible balance and purity.  A wine to hold for years to come, but if you have to pull the cork, you will find an incredible expression of Meteor Vineyard.

Vinography’s Alder Yarrow takes a look at the wine in his  recent article.
11.14.2011

Barry Schuler may know a thing or two about running multi-billion dollar technology companies, but what he really wants to talk about, given the chance, is food and wine. The former CEO of AOL, Schuler often gets credited along with Steve Case (who preceded Schuler as CEO) for the company’s success in the late Nineties. But while his colleagues and most of America’s top technology executives were returning home at the end of their long days to comfortable suburbs near major metropolitan areas, at the end of the week Schuler was making his way back to Napa, California. Schuler may have been one of the country’s top technology executives, but now he spends as much time thinking about wine as he does anything else.

Schuler says that he can remember wanting to live in Napa as early as the age of 18. In addition to dabbling in photography and filmmaking as a teenager, he says, “I was really into cooking. And drinking.” His obsession with food and wine, led him to the altar of Alice Waters’ restaurant Chez Panisse, which he visited for the first time in 1974 on the pretense of considering a graduate degree at UC Berkeley. Instead of attending his interviews and exploring the campus, however, Schuler dined at Chez Panisse, and drove to Napa, where he spent days wandering around in a daze. “It was like mecca,” he says, “like I was hit by a lighting bolt. It truly was amazing. I decided then and there that I had to figure out how to live [in Napa] someday.”

By his own account, Schuler spent the next 15 years “chasing French wine” and working out the math that would get him back to the Napa valley. While he wasn’t in his own kitchen dreaming of his future Napa estate, Schuler was busy making a name for himself in the emerging world of digital interactive media. He founded an early advertising agency to serve the emerging home and business computing market, then ran one of the first successful Macintosh software companies, and finally ended up founding an interactive design agency called Medior, with several colleagues, including Tracy Strong, who is now his wife.

Schuler finally moved to Napa in 1989, settling closer to the town of Napa than to the centers of culinary and wine activity farther up the valley, because he was attracted to the change he saw underway in and around the city of Napa. “It was a train wreck in those days,” says Schuler, but he saw something of a diamond in the rough in the scrabbly area to the east and north of town known as Coombsville. When he finally decided he wanted a bit of land on which he might one day plant some grapes, “mostly just to sell, I was thinking,” he says, “I started looking in Coombsville.” Good lots were not immediately forthcoming, so Schuler would spend several years poking around the area until in 1998, when someone told him that a 35 acre parcel was due to be sold in the area, and that he might want to take a look at it.

After rounding the shoulder of the hill and seeing the view of a green cow pasture roll out from underneath the mossy shade of oaks all the way to the San Francisco Bay in the distance, Schuler purchased the property on the spot, thinking he’d figure out whether it could grow grapes later.

What Schuler ended up with is an interesting geologic and climatologic anomaly in the region. The hilltop of ash and clay soil is layered thinly on a deep base of round river stones, and sits up higher than most surrounding points in the traditionally cooler region of Napa. This makes the property a little island of heat that misses much of the fog influence that creeps up from neighboring Carneros and the wind patterns that sweep through the rest of the region.

With the help of vineyard consultant Michael Wolf, Bill and Dawnine Dyer, (of  Dyer Vineyards) and occasional advice and moral support fromTony Soter (of  Etude Wines) the Schulers set about carefully establishing their 22 acre vineyard, still with the idea that they’d sell the grapes, and perhaps make just a tiny bit of wine for themselves. After some struggles, the vineyard began yielding grapes in 2003, and by the time the 2004 grapes were going into bottle, it was clear that the fruit was on track to being exceptional. The folks who had purchased the initial lots of grapes were clamoring for more, and new requests were constantly being made.

“At that point,” says Schuler, “we couldn’t resist.” Barry and Tracy enlisted the Dyers to make them 40 cases of wine from the 2003 harvest, and asked them to become equal partners in the winery. For the name of their project they selected a rephrasing of Medior, the company that had brought them together, and arguably made possible the fulfillment of Barry’s teenage dreams. For their label they chose the silhouette of the solitary, ancient oak tree that anchors the center of their vineyards.

A good portion of  Meteor Vineyard’s grapes are still sold to select wineries around the valley, but the family holds back enough fruit to make a little more than a thousand cases of wine. Originally, the Meteor project only included a flagship Cabernet and a minute bit of a wine known as the Family Reserve, both priced north of $225 per bottle if you could find them. But in 2008 as the economy headed south, and yields increased slightly, Schuler and the Dyers decided to make a wine they called Perseid, which would be more widely available, and more affordable.

At $125, more affordable is all relative, of course, but Perseid isn’t meant to compete on the grounds of price. It’s just meant to be what it is: a luxury wine that makes a reasonable case at being worth the price, for those in a position to pay it.

The wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, made from a mix of clones, and what I believe is a combination of both estate and purchased fruit. After a long maceration and fermentation using commercial yeasts, the wine is aged in French oak (65% new) for 22 months before bottling.

I’ve been tasting Meteor Vineyards wines since their first release, and they continue to improve, as winemakers and vineyard learn to live with one another. The 2007 vintage was an excellent one, and I highly recommend it.

Full disclosure: I received this wine as a press sample.

Tasting Notes:
Medium garnet in color, this wine smells of rich graphite, cedar, and tobacco aromas. In the mouth it has a wonderfully silky texture and flavors of pencil lead, tobacco, cherry fruit, and cedar, along with excellent acidity. The oak is restrained, and the wine quite elegant, even in its obvious power. Muscular tannins ripple under the wine like a bodybuilder in a silk shirt. Compelling. 14.7% alcohol.

Food Pairing:
With a wine like this, it’s hard not to think of steak, but I had some fantastic lamb sausages earlier this evening that would have been amazing with this wine.

How Much?: $125

This wine is  available for purchase on the Internet.

As I write this the 2008 vintage of this wine is being released to mailing list customers and will shortly appear on the market. I have not yet had the chance to taste it.

Posted by:  Alder on November 14, 2011 9:48 PM

Time Posted: Nov 18, 2011 at 1:09 PM
Jason Alexander
 
October 20, 2011 | Jason Alexander

Stephen Tanzer Reviews 2008 Vintage

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.

May/June ‘11
Meteor Vineyard
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.

Time Posted: Oct 20, 2011 at 12:53 PM
Jason Alexander
 
October 1, 2011 | Jason Alexander

Coombsville Enters the Spotlight; Meteor Defines Winemaking Region

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

Time Posted: Oct 1, 2011 at 12:47 PM
Jason Alexander
 
April 20, 2011 | Jason Alexander

Much Lauded Vintage Creates 95 Cases of Perfection

Our Special Family Reserve is the wine we make for ourselves. We only wish we had more fruit! 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!

When Meteor Vineyard was planted in 1999, Vineyard Manager  Mike Wolf felt strongly that the vineyards unique combination of elevation, aspect and stony, rich volcanic soil would provide a perfect home for cabernet sauvignon. His intuition was prescient. The wines produced from the 3 distinct clones Mike planted have tantalized winemakers and wine lovers since the inaugural harvest.

Each clone has its own unique character that has evolved as the vineyard has aged. Yet, year after year, we are beguiled and transfixed by the combination of density and elegance, of aromatic complexity and supple, ripe tannins that our “heritage” planting of Clone 7 displays. If the blend of all three clones gives the best overall snapshot, Clone 7 alone represent the heart of the vineyard.

2007 Special Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Our 2007 Special Family Reserve represents the absolute finest fruit from Meteor Vineyard. Hand selected by the row and cluster from a rock strewn section planted to Clone 7 on Saint George rootstock, barrel aged in 100% new French oak for 22 months and then bottle aged for an additional 6 months prior to release, our 2007 Special Family Reserve is truly a wine for the ages.

“The 2007 Meteor Vineyard Special Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is deep ruby blue in color with aromas of black plum, cassis and black cherries mingled with dark chocolate, clove and vanilla.  The wine is simultaneously massive yet elegant, with beautiful oak integration and layered tannins ending in a long supple finish.“ Winemaker Dawnine Dyer

“While there is not much made, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is an exceptional wine (100 cases produced from Clone 7). Aged 22 months in 100% new French oak, the wood component is completely concealed by the cascade of dense blackberry and cassis fruit intermixed with licorice, camphor and spice box.” 95+ Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

How to Purchase

3-packs of Meteor Vineyard Special Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon are available at $900 each starting April 13.
To make these wines a part of your cellar   CLICK HERE. Or if you prefer a more personal touch, contact us by phone at 707.258.2900 or via email at info@meteorvineyard.com.  We anticipate shipping these wines late April 2011.

Time Posted: Apr 20, 2011 at 12:41 PM
Jason Alexander
 
November 10, 2010 | Jason Alexander

Coombsville is Coolsville

In celebration of the  2010 harvest and the release of our  2007 Meteor Vineyard Perseid we recently invited a small group of Coombsville neighbors and Meteor Vineyard fans for an afternoon of delicious food from Melissa Hernandez (Check this  cool article about her and Michael Pollan in the New York Times), Meteor Vineyard wines and a selection of some of the best wines from the Coombsville area.

Wine writer Marcy Gordon captures it perfectly in this  recent post. Check it!



 

Time Posted: Nov 10, 2010 at 11:38 AM
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