While 2013 will long be remembered for the absolute perfection of the growing season, the year also provided some benchmark moments here at Meteor Vineyard.
* Latkes. That’s right – latkes. The unusual confluence of Thanksgiving and Hannukah gave us the first “Thanksgivukkah” in, well, a VERY long time. Barry’s always spectacular holiday menu went a step further, fusing the traditions (and riffs on traditions) from both celebrations. In Barry’s words, “Producing epic Latkes is an exact analog. Technique is essential and the recipe is only a guideline to be adjusted by feel and experience. If you are willing and patient you will be rewarded with a divine experience that will be celebrated by those you prepare them for.” Get the recipe here.
* James Beard award winner Stuart Brioza cooked one of the most memorable meals of the year in the Meteor Vineyard kitchen. The day started with a butchering class at Hudson Farm with a spring lamb raised on the property and proceeded with a harvest of fresh ingredients from Lee Hudson’s incredible farm. In the kitchen Stuart improvised utilizing every part from the lamb. Perfect pairings for our wines!
* The last decade has seen an explosion of incredible restaurants in nearly every city across the country. While we don’t have a lot of wine to spread around we felt it important to expand our national distribution in Georgia, Virginia, Florida and Colorado.
* (Piggybacking on the above) We are proud to find the wines of Meteor Vineyard in many of the top restaurant cellars across the country including The French Laundry, Daniel, BlackBerry Farm and Manresa. The best meal of 2013? Hands down The French Laundry on October 19. Check out the full list of restaurants that feature Meteor Vineyard wines.
* Once again, the second week of August provided one of the greatest meteor showers of the lunar calendar. Our bi-annual Perseid Meteor Shower Party was in full swing celebrating both the shooting “stars” and the release of our 2010 Perseid Cabernet Sauvignon. Save the date for our next fete in August 2015!
* Ok, we said it at the top, but the 2013 harvest was one of the best in memory, with near perfect growing conditions from bud break to harvest. Absolutely perfect berries! While we are a long way off from completing the blends, the raw materials for the wine is absolutely ethereal. Of course, 2012 is still in barrel as well which is equally exciting!
* One of the great joys of Meteor Vineyard has always been working with and selling fruit to a number of top winemakers from the valley (we keep about 25% for the Meteor Vineyard wines). The list has been a who’s who over the years with Andy Erickson, Phillipe Melka, Tony Soter and, of course, Bill and Dawnine Dyer working with the fruit. In a nod to the uniqueness and quality of the site, Bart and Daphne Araujo, whose stewardship of the legendary Eisele Vineyard produced some of California greatest wines, became our newest vineyard clients! We can’t wait to see what they do with the fruit.
* The Hearts Delight Wine Auction in Washington DC has long been a bastion of the great properties of Bordeaux. When they looked to incorporate 2 properties from California into the French heavy tasting, Meteor Vineyard was the first property they tapped. A nod to our style which bridges Napa Valley and Bordeaux? We are excited to return next year!
* Professional wine critics have continued to wax eloquent about the Meteor Vineyard wines crafted by winemaker/partners Bill and Dawnine Dyer. Check out the latest words from Steven Tanzer and Antonio Galloni.
We wish you and your loved ones all the best in the new year and look forward to 2014!
The Meteor Vineyard Team
We get super excited early August for multiple reasons; verasion in the vineyard, sunny Napa Valley days and perfectly clear nights to view the Perseid meteor showers.
Here is an excellent time lapse shot of last years showers from Sierra Sky Watcher:
With a near perfect summer the 2012 growing season is promising to be a great one. Dawnine Dyer talking about the vintage thus far.
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!
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
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.
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
Tasting byappointment. Call 707-258-2900 or email email@example.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/.