Meteor Vineyard

Meteor Blog

Jason Alexander
 
October 17, 2011 | Jason Alexander

Los Angeles Food and Wine October 13-16

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!

Time Posted: Oct 17, 2011 at 12:52 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
 
August 18, 2011 | Jason Alexander

Perseid Meteor Shower Viewing Party 2011

The evening of August 13 started out as perfect as they come; piercing blue skies, light winds and warm, “perfect evening” temperatures.  Guests began arriving at sunset and were greeted with a pour of the 2007 Meteor Vineyard Perseid. A tarot card reader sat tucked into the corner, the band played and cocktails flowed.  The second week of August witnesses one of nature’s most exciting astral spectacles of the year, the Perseid’s Meteor Shower (link to Coolsville article).  While the full moon obscured many of the streaking “stars”, everyone in attendance was witness to one unforgettable memory; the 2008 Perseid from Meteor Vineyard.

Marcy Gordon captured the evening perfectly in her  recent blog.  If I were you, I would mark my calendar for mid August 2012 now…

Time Posted: Aug 18, 2011 at 12:44 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
Meteor Vineyard Team
 
April 6, 2011 | Meteor Vineyard Team

Coombsville’s Coming of Age

Winemakers are unified in their recognition of the unique nature of Coombsville.

Coombsville’s Coming of Age from HD Living Spring 2011

The HD Living  website is a little tough to navigate so I thought I would post the entire article here.

At the southeast end of California’s world-renowned Napa Valley lies a lesser-known grape-growing region on the cusp of discovery. Called Coombsville, it is gaining notoriety because of the truly great wines it is producing. Sitting on a plateau under the imposing Mount George, Coombsville has a microclimate that features aunique combination of cool air, consistent temperatures, varied elevations and well-drained, mineral-rich soils. The wineries situated in this cool corner of Napa Valley are rapidly gaining recognition for producing some of the world’s best Cabernet Sauvignon.

What makes Coombsville wines so hot? In a word, balance; the fruit here turns out red wines that are very dark and intense in color with flavors of blackberries, black plums, mulberries, dried herbs and black olives. They at once couple textural smoothness and richness with vibrant acidities and fine-grained tannins, producing an exquisite and elegant wine.

Winemakers are unified in their recognition of the unique geographic characteristics of Coombsville and its ability to produce outstanding wine. Because of its proximity to San Pablo Bay, Coombsville’s climate is quite moderate, allowing the grapes here to ripen over a long period of time and thus producing very ripe fruit characteristics without the sugar and corresponding alcohol levels typical of other valley wines. The sloping, hilly terrain of the Coombsville region is made of well-drained, mineral-rich soils; a mélange of volcanic ash, cobbled rocks and lava flow from the ancient eruption of Mount George. This well-draining soil found throughout the area becomes “hot” during the summer, making it particularly suited to Cabernet Sauvignon, which needs warm soils to fully ripen.

Coombsville fell on the radar of wine passionates seemingly over-night, but its break through momentum is actually many years in the making. Like Yountville, Oakville and other popular wine regions before it, winemakers recognized the importance of this area long before consumers. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, before any-one outside the valley had heard of Coombsville, famed winemaker Randy Dunn sourced grapes from here, as did Joseph Phelps for its award-winning Insignia Wine. In recent years some other high-profile producers and wine-makers have been using Coombsville fruit for blends, including Andy Erickson for both his own Favia label as well as Arietta, Vineyard 29 and Lail Vineyards.

In the last 20 years, a handful of lesser-known wineries has emerged making single vineyard wines which are bringing greater visibility tot he region. Meteor Vineyard is perhaps the most unique among the wineries of Coombsville. Years ago when digging for wells it was discovered that the soil on the property contains small round volcanic rocks that go more than 500 feet deep. This particular vineyard characteristic provides enhanced drainage, forces the plant roots deep and has a pro-found impact on the wine. According to Meteor Vineyard Winemaker Dawnine Dyer, Meteor is the perfect expression of the uniqueness of Coombsville wines in how it blends modern and traditional wine characteristics. The result is intense, luscious fruit found in modern Napa wines, along with a unique minerality due to the volcanic stones, which provides a structural complexity found in traditional Bordeaux styles.

In addition to Meteor Vineyard, Coombsville is now home to some 20 wineries including Caldwell Vineyard, a wine lover’s jewel, with winemaking operations located within an excavated cave; and Palmaz Vineyards, where winemaking takes place within the living rock of Mount George in a maze of tunnels and lofty domes. Coombsville is pursuing AVA (American Viticulture Area) designation and is doubtless headed into future fame. Most wineries in the area offer private tastings, often with the wineries’ winemakers themselves. Visitors to the area should contact wineries directly for tours and tastings.

Suggested Coombsville-Area Attractions

Oxbow Public Market:
Thisvibrant market features dozens of spe-cialty merchants and vendors with awide range of artisanal food and wine.Visit www.oxbowpublicmarket.com
for events and details.

Morimoto Napa:
Masahara Morimoto – known to millions asthe star of Iron Chef and Iron ChefAmerica,recently opened his first West Coast Restaurant in Napa’s new downtown riverfront development. Reservations essential; For more information visit www.morimotonapa.com

Meteor Vineyard:
Tasting byappointment. Call 707-258-2900 or email info@meteorvineyard.com to schedule an appointment and tour.

Back Room Wines:
For eclectic, small production wines from NapaValley. First & Main Streets, DowntownNapa; go to  http://www.backroomwines.com/.

Time Posted: Apr 6, 2011 at 12:38 PM
Jason Alexander
 
March 16, 2011 | Jason Alexander

Kung F(oo) continues, Part 2 of 3

Meteor Vineyard’s Barry Schuler continues the conversation with Paul Mabray at Vintank.

Where else would you find a “think tank” about wine than Napa Valley (ok, perhaps Silicon Valley)?  Paul Mabray is one of the few people whose whole existence is dedicated to exploring, envisioning and articulating the convergence of wine and technology.  Who better to talk about that convergence with than Meteor Vineyard’s own internet historian and pioneer Barry Schuler? Stealing the kung foo term from Paul because I love it (yes the misspell is intentional).

Unfiltered: the video series Barry Schuler Part 2 from VinTank on Vimeo.

 

Time Posted: Mar 16, 2011 at 12:35 PM
Jason Alexander
 
February 9, 2011 | Jason Alexander

100 versus 95+, “The End of an Era”

The recent announcement by Robert Parker Jr. that he was relinquishing his long term tenure as the California critic for the Wine Advocate met with a barrage of commentary. Alder Yarrow of Vinography called it “ The End of an Era“,The New York Times critic  Eric Asimov, in his always carefully considered way, opined on the matter, as did  W. Blake Gray,  Jon Bonne and myriad others.  Chat rooms have hundreds of comments ranging from the outlandish and accusatory to an iron clad defense of Parker influence on the overall quality of wine produced around the world.

Indisputable is the fact that Antonio Galloni will bring a different perspective, let alone palate, to the job. Will his work in Italy and now the Cote d’Or inform his reviews?  This is the widespread question.  From the acid, tannin and perfumed aromatics of Burgundy to the structured wines of Barolo and Barbaresco to the mineral driven wines of Champagne and Friuli – you have to imagine so.

Considering the style of our wines at Meteor Vineyard, we have been greatly pleased by the scores and written commentary posted by RP on our wines.  In fact, in a certain twisted logic, the 92-95+ range represents a tremendous compliment.  As a longtime sommelier we often joke(d) among ourselves that wines that receive 100 points from the Wine Advocate share a monumental intensity and richness that borders on caricature.  Shed several point and some of the baby fat and you start to find a mother lode of wines with more balance and elegance, typicity and terroir.

Perhaps the new “perfect scores” from California will be less about caricature and more about site and balance.  Only time will tell.  In the meantime, while winery owners and winemakers scratch their heads about the direction to take their wines, some of which are already in barrel or bottle – we know that we are doing just what we have always done; producing balanced, structured wines of place, that capture the temperate climate of Coombsville, the unique soil structure of Meteor Vineyard and a combined winemaking legacy of a combined 70 years…

In the meantime, I think Alder’s phrase is apt.  Whether or not you agree with his palate, Robert Parker has been one of the most important figures in the history of the wine business.  Criticism, be it about Picasso or Bach, the Met’s performance of Wagner’s Ring Cycle or Malcom Gladwell’s most recent musings are always the perspective of the critic.  You need not agree with Michiko Kakutani’s review of “Freedom” or Tony Judt’s view of European history post WWII.  Part of the intrigue about criticism is the debate itself.  Nowhere is this more true than in the world of wine.

Time Posted: Feb 9, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Meteor Vineyard Team
 
January 26, 2011 | Meteor Vineyard Team

Barrel Tasting at 8am??????

Yes, 8am is early to start tasting wine, but it is also the time of day when your palate is freshest.

When we sat down to re-taste the 2009 wines from Meteor Vineyard in December we unanimously agreed on a couple of things;

1. The wines are DELICIOUS with incredible purity of fruit, ripe fine grained tannins and the vibrant natural acidity that is textbook Coombsville.

2. Our inaugural harvest of Petite Verdot is growing more interesting by the day.  More soon on this, though you may see a sneak peak in a couple weeks at the NVV Premier Napa Valley event.

3. Clone 7 (our “heritage planting on St. George rootstock) continues to beguile us with it’s confluence of aromatics, intensity, depth and length.  Once again we felt strongly that our Special Family Reserve bottling should feature and explore this sole clonal selection.

Winemaker Dawnine Dyer and I met at the early appointed hour to taste through all of the individual barrels of clone 7.  Our goal was simple – explore the various effects of our individual barrel coopers on clone 7 (the effect on each clone varies in colorful and sometimes unpredictable ways) and pull aside the 6 barrels we found most expressive and refined.  A task easier said than done – especially with a vintage as good as 2009.

The following features some highlights from the conversation…

Time Posted: Jan 26, 2011 at 12:27 PM
Jason Alexander
 
January 20, 2011 | Jason Alexander

Going Kung F(oo) with Paul Mabray at Vintank

Where else would you find a “think tank” about wine than Napa Valley (ok, perhaps Silicon Valley)?  Paul Mabray is one of the few people whose whole existence is dedicated to exploring, envisioning and articulating the convergence of wine and technology.  Who better to talk about that convergence with than Meteor Vineyard’s own internet historian and pioneer Barry Schuler? Stealing the kung foo term from Paul because I love it (yes the misspell is intentional).

Unfiltered – The Video Series #4 (1 of 3) from Paul Mabray on Vimeo.
Check out what Paul and his team are doing at Vintank!


 

Time Posted: Jan 20, 2011 at 12:33 PM
Meteor Vineyard Team
 
January 12, 2011 | Meteor Vineyard Team

Blue Chuck Taylors, 2 Chefs and a “Battle” for education…

This past Saturday saw 2 Napa Valley chefs go head to head at the Blue Oak Schools “Battle of the Chefs” – a fundraiser for the school (co-founded by Meteor Vineyard owners Barry and Tracy Schuler).

Barry, decked out in blue Converse and purple tie, served as the host and MC for the vent, gently and hilariously prodding the two chefs along as they cooked in front of a sold out crowd at the Napa Valley Culinary Institute of America.  The setup was classic “Top Chef” with secret ingredients, a panel of judges (including Jardiniere Wine Director Eugenio Jardim and the ever rowdy Lee Hudson) and a limited amount of time to produce the best possible dish.

Marcy Gordon of Come for the Wine covered it live via twitter and  posted this recap and Christy Bors from the Napa Patch covered it  here.
Look for a full video soon……

Time Posted: Jan 12, 2011 at 12:23 PM
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