Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cliff Lede Vineyards

"This is as about as good as it gets."  Such were my thoughts after our wonderful and highly informative two hour tour and tasting at Cliff Lede Vineyards which included visiting the  art gallery, vineyard, and winery production area, finally culminating in a fantastic wine and food pairing. Much thanks to our very interesting and enthusiastic host, Tom Roseler, who provided one of the finest and most educational winery tours we have experienced in over 40 years of winery tastings at hundreds of wineries.  Other staff at the winery were also extremely pleasant and professional.  Although Cliff Lede wines are great by themselves, we recommend that you schedule to take the full tour because it is such an exceptional experience.

Cliff Lede grounds

Cliff Lede Vineyards has lovely views, interesting architecture, pleasant courtyards, an amazing state of the art wine production area, and an art gallery with rotating exhibits.  The vineyard and wine production tour is amazing; the wines are outstanding; and the food and wine pairing with the educational component is superb.  Be sure to schedule the Estate Tour and Tastings: "Tue - Sat, 11am (allow 2 hours) | Prior reservation required Join us for a guided tour of the property that will lead you through the vineyards to our state-of-the-art winery. Relax in one of our intimate tasting spaces and enjoy wines from both Cliff Lede Vineyards and FEL Wines paired with a selection of seasonal canapés."  Visit  Regular tastings are available to the public without an appointment.

Cliff Lede courtyard

Cliff Lede Vineyards is located where the old S. Anderson Vineyard use to be on Yountville Cross Road in the Stags Leap District. Both of us had visited S. Anderson Vineyard many times over the years and use to love attending the yearly classical music concerts held there. In 2002 Cliff Lede (pronounced "Laydee"), a Canadian businessman who loved Bordeaux wines, purchased S.Anderson Vineyards and founded Cliff Lede Vineyards.  He decided to focus primarily on red Bordeaux style wines. The well known architect Howard Backen designed the new high tech, state of the art winery completed in 2005 and Backen & Gillam restored the 1913 Craftsman-style building now used as a tasting room.  The vineyard includes 60 acres that extends toward the hills where Cliff Lede's luxurious Poetry Inn (opened in 2005) is situated overlooking the Napa Valley.  In 2011 they also added Savoy Vineyard in Anderson Valley and created a sister label called FEL, named after Mr. Lede's mother Florence Elsie Lede.  

Cliff Lede entry sign
Each vineyard block or section is named after one of Cliff Lede's favorite rock songs or rock albums, with such names as "Dark Side of the Moon", "Hotel California", "Purple Haze" and "Light My Fire."  The art gallery in the Backstage Reserve Tasting Room (included in the tour) currently features rock related art by Stanley Mouse who created album covers and advertising posters for the Grateful Dead, Journey, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and others. A large, impressive painting of Grace Kelly by Tony Scherman may be viewed in the winery production area.  In the lovely courtyards you will encounter sculptures by Jim Dine along with a pretty rose garden.

Cliff Lede courtyard

Every year about half of the newly forming grape bunches in the Cliff Lede vineyard are "dropped" or removed so that the remaining grapes will be more concentrated and complex.  Irrigation and farming are carefully monitored by computers that alert staff by mobile phone when attention or changes are required. After harvesting, a Pellenc optical sorting machine is used to sort individual grapes after they have been carefully destemmed.  This is followed by hand sorting of grapes to find any imperfect grapes the optical sorting machine might have missed.  Each block of wine is fermented and aged apart from other blocks. A unique gravity crane system gently guides the whole berries to the tanks.  Specially tapered tanks modeled after the ones used at Chateau Latour were specially created for them by American tank manufacturer Mueller and allow for higher skin to juice ratios that lead to wines with great complexity and deeper concentration.  The more expensive cigar barrels made of French oak are utilized for aging. With Cliff Lede Vineyards wines everything is meticulously hand crafted.

Cliff Lede 
Exhibition Artwork Courtesy of Stanley Mouse.
Copyrights Reserved, Mouse Studios 2014

Our first tasting actually began upon or arrival and prior to the wonderful tour.  This was the FEL 2013 Chardonnay from Anderson Valley ($28).  It is a blend of multiple clones sourced from Ferrington and Savoy Vineyards near Boonville.  Only a small amount of malolactic conversion was allowed and it was aged sur lie in neutral French oak.  1,201 cases were produced. If you like a more French Burgundian style Chardonnay, without excessive oak or too much MLF, then this Chardonnay should really appeal to you, especially at this price.  I got mostly lemon and mineral notes on the palate which was dry, fresh and very well balanced.  The finish was moderately long.  I enjoyed drinking this alone, but it would pair wonderfully with food, especially seafood or vinegar based salads.  It is a bargain at only $28 and we purchased some.

Cliff Lede courtyard and waterfall fountain

Our food paired tastings were not at the bar but at a table situated in a comfortable room adjacent to the tasting room.  It was a relaxed, quiet and intimate setting with our wine educator, who really is a "wine educator" and not simply a winery server.  The first pour was the Cliff Lede Vineyards 2013 Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley at $25.  Most of the fruit in this wine was grown on old vines in eastern Rutherford known for their richness and citrus notes.  Other grapes were sourced from the southeastern hills of Napa Valley and help to provide the brightness and minerality.  Fruit from the cooler east side of Napa was then included to add more acidity and finesse. Chiles Valley fruit adds some tropical notes. The final blend was 91% Sauvignon Blanc, 7% Semillon and 2% Sauvignon Vert. It was cold fermented 50% in stainless steel, 44% in neutral French oak and 6% in concrete egg shaped containers. Production was 6581 cases. This very nice Sauvignon Blanc was paired with smoked salmon and crème fresh on crispy toast.  It was a brilliant yellow in color and had an intense floral nose of fresh orange blossoms with some notes of  lemon, white peach and minerality.  It was one of the most aromatic Sauvignon Blancs I've encounter recently, a sheer delight to the senses.  On the palate it was well structured with crisp but very well balanced acids, good minerality, along with white peach, pineapple and pear.  It had a long and lingering finish with lemon, lime and grapefruit notes.  At only $25, this Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent buy.  Obviously we had to purchase a number of bottles and will probably return for more. 

Cliff Lede courtyyard

We moved into red wines with the FEL 2012 Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir at $65.  This is a blend of clones from the famous Ferrington Vineyard in Anderson Valley.  (Ferrington grapes have been sourced by Williams Selyem, Schramsberg and other premium wineries.)  It was aged for 14 months in French oak with 44% new oak.  2,923 cases were produced.  It was one of the most aromatic Pinot Noirs I've ever encountered, with intense but complex notes of cherry, strawberry, raspberry, black tea, and spices that captivated the senses while my nose was still about eight inches away from the glass.  On the palate it was medium bodied and complex with good acid, silky tannins and mostly cherry with some forest floor.  It seemed to combine the best characteristics of a the fuller bodied and more structured styled Pinot Noirs with the liveliness and fresh fruit of a softer type Pinot Noir.  The finish was long and broad.  This Pinot Noir should be receiving scores in the mid 90s and was an exceptional Pinot Noir that was an essential purchase for us.  It is very drinkable now but should age well.  We had it delightfully paired with roasted portabella mushroom tartar on top of toasted brioche with shaved asiago cheese. This would be the perfect wine for turkey and Thanksgiving dinner. 

Cliff Lede
Exhibition Artwork Courtesy of Stanley Mouse.
Copyrights Reserved, Mouse Studios 2014

Next up was the Cliff Lede Vineyards 2011 High Fidelity Red Blend from Napa Valley, priced at $80.  As most readers will know, red French Bordeauxs from the left bank are blends based mostly on Cabernet Sauvignon whereas those from the right bank are mostly Merlot.  This High Fidelity red blend is a classic right bank Bordeaux styled blend of 45% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot and  was aged for 18 months in French oak, with 85% new oak.  It had a lovely aroma of red cherry, pomegranate and cigar box followed by smooth tannins, refreshing acidity, a medium body and fresh berries on the palate.  The finish was long and refreshing.  Medium bodied but with good structure, this wine had good substance and complexity while retaining refreshing fresh fruit and liveliness. It paired extremely well with duck and juniper berry polpetta with fig and Cabernet reduction. Another essential purchase for us.

Jim Dine sculpture at Cliff Lede Vineyards

Our final pour was the Cliff Lede Vineyards 2011 Songbook Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley at $190.  Many Napa Valley wineries now offer some ultra premium or reserve Cabs in the $200 range, and I must confess that most of them I've tasted are really exceptional.  What makes this one stand out is that it is a wonderful Cab in a year that was not one of the best in Napa Valley.  But then the grapes are from David Abreau's Thorevilos Vineyard and his Madrona Ranch, so this Cab was made from some of the finest (and most expensive) grapes in the world.  This is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 9% Merlot with an alcohol content of 14.4%.  It is an amazing wine, and well worth the asking price.  Again it had an intense aroma.  All of the Cliff Lede and FEL wines had such a great nose that I would ordinarily think that my sense of smell was somehow enhanced the day we visited.  But my friend had the same olfactory experience.  The Songbook had aromas of black cherry, black currant, cinnamon and forest floor in a complex and enticing aromatic presentation.  Taste wise it was heavenly.  It had great body and structure but was not overly extracted.  Tannins were soft, silky, and perfectly integrated.  Fruits were mostly dark with black cherry, black plum, and black currants.  There was some flinty minerality with exotic spices, adding layers of complexity to perfect balance and harmony.  It was hedonistically pleasurable to experience.  I would expect this wine to be receiving scores in the high 90s. It should age gracefully if you can resist drinking it now, something that would be probably be beyond my ability to do.  We tasted it paired with Neapolitan style eggplant parmesan with tomato confit and warm, fresh mozzarella, but it was a wonderful wine simply on its own.  

Cliff Lede vineyard

We enthusiastically recommend that you place Cliff Lede Vineyards very high on your list of Napa Valley wineries to visit and that you indulge yourself by taking their outstanding tour with the food and wine paring.  We have been on hundreds of winery tours over the years, but this one is really a must.  We hope you enjoy your visit as much as we did.

Cliff Lede food and wine pairing

1473 Yountville Cross Rd
Yountville, CA 94599
Phone number (707) 944-8642
Date of visit: November 12, 2014

Grace Kelly by Tony Scherman at Cliff Lede Vineyards
Photo from Cliff Lede Vineyards

Cliff Lede tasting room entrance

Cliff Lede
Exhibition Artwork Courtesy of Stanley Mouse.
Copyrights Reserved, Mouse Studios 2014

Sculpture at Cliff Lede

Cliff Lede vineyard

"Twin Venuses by Thunder" by Jim Dine at Cliff Lede

Cliff Lede vineyard view

Cliff Lede tasting table

"Abbey Road" at Cliff Lede

Cliff Lede
Exhibition Artwork Courtesy of Stanley Mouse.
Copyrights Reserved, Mouse Studios 2014

Designer chairs at Cliff Lede

Cliff Lede outdoor tasting table

Cliff Lede courtyard

View of The Poetry Inn from Cliff Lede Vineyards

One of the tasting bars at Cliff Lede

Cliff Lede tasting lounge

Cliff Lede view of tasting room from winery

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Domaine Carneros

If you visit Napa Valley and do not visit one of our premium sparkling wine wineries, then you will have missed some of the best of Napa Valley.  In addition to having amazing sparkling wine and a sparkling wine tour that is wonderfully informative, Domaine Carneros has some exceptional Pinot Noirs, a spectacular setting, great hospitality and a wine tasting experience at private tables that is second to none.  We really enjoyed our tour and tasting at Domaine Carneros and highly recommend that you also visit this lovely winery.  We especially recommend the tour which includes a fascinating educational experience of how sparkling wine is made.  You will also be able to taste some wonderful sparkling wines and some excellent Pinot Noirs.  Every wine we tasted at Domain Carneros was exceptionally good. There are plenty of great Cabs and Cab blends elsewhere in the Valley.  This is the place for great sparkling wines and exceptional Pinot Noirs, two of the most elegant expressions of wine.

Domaine Carneros main building

My favorite Champagne is from Taittinger, and Claude Taittinger, whose family's involvement in Champagne began in the 1700's, is the person who founded Domaine Carneros.  His interest in California sparkling wine began in the 1970s and lead to his 1987 selection of a 138 acre vineyard in Carneros, Napa Valley.  Carneros is famous for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the two varietals most essential to premium sparkling wines.  Monsieur Taittinger had the wisdom to chose Eileen Crane in 1987 to be his winemaker and oversee the development of the winery.  She continues as both their founding CEO and the winemaker, with nearly forty years of experience in the field. This is perhaps the all time dream team for sparkling wine--two amazing people who combined their talents to bring us Domain Carneros.

Domaine Carneros view

The Domaine Carneros building is right next to highway 12 between Sonoma and Napa and was inspired by the 18th century Chateau de la Marquetterie in Champagne, France, where Champagne Taittinger is located.  It was completed in 1989 and sits up on a hill overlooking Carneros.  It is a magnificent 4800 square foot winery with a grand staircase, fountain, formal gardens, outdoor terraces, a marble floored interior and lovely views over Napa Valley. In 1992 they added Pinot Noir to their portfolio.  The Pinot Noir production area is styled after a French carriage house, was completed in 2003 and is behind the main chateau.  It has the largest solar collection of any winery in the world.  Their vineyards are also 100% certified organically grown by the California Certified Organic Farmers and consist of 105 planted acres of Chardonnay and 245 acres of planted Pinot Noir.  Prior to receiving their organic certification Domaine Carneros had been practicing sustainable farming since they were founded.  Méthode Champenoise is used for all sparkling wines, and they use a clay based product for wine clarification instead of an animal based one, making their wines Vegan friendly.  Production is about 46,000 cases per year with 39,000 being sparkling wine and 7,000 Pinot Noir.

Domaine Carneros indoor tasting tables

When you visit Domaine Carneros, I suggest you allow for at least an hour and a half and take their tour so that you may learn about sparkling wine production.  You will also be able to taste their wonderful sparkling wines and Pinot Noirs and will have many photo opportunities.  Much thanks to our host, Louis, for conducting such an informative and friendly tour and to Adrienne Shubin for graciously coordinating our tour and meeting with us afterwards.

Domaine Carneros vineyards

Our first pour was at the beginning our tour and was the inaugural release of their Estate Brut Sparkling wine made from 100% certified organic grapes and available only at the winery.  The Domaine Carneros 2010 Estate Brut Cuvee at $32 is a blend of 49% Chardonnay and 51% Pinot Noir grapes.  It had an intense aroma of pear and apple with mostly pear and lemon on the palate.  Bubbles were tight.  It was beautifully balanced, rounded but still crisp, with lovely yeast undertones and a very good finish.  It was excellent for the price.  Very nice, indeed.

Domaine Carneros main building

The second taste was the Domaine Carneros 2007 Le Reve Blanc de Blanc at $90.  "La Reve" is French for "the dream."  This is their finest Blanc de Blanc and is 100% Chardonnay from five different clones.  It was aged for five and a half years on the lees and was more complex and French-like than the many California sparkling wines.  After a very good nose of pear, spices and floral notes, I got mostly pear on the palate with undertones of fresh ginger, almonds, and tropical fruits. The acid was lively but perfectly balanced and the bubbles were intense and tight.  The finish was excellent.  If you find some American sparkling wines to be somewhat simple or even one dimensional, you should try this one. This should be especially appealing to those who appreciate complexity and subtlety in sparkling wines or to those who prefer higher end French Champagnes.  It would go great with seafood, poultry, or creamy cheeses, but I would simply savor it on its own.  Truly outstanding!

Domaine Carneros from parking lot

Third up was the Domaine Carneros Nonvintage Blanc De Noir at $35.  It is made from 100% Pinot Noir and began with a fairly good aroma of pear and lemon.  I got mostly pear, and lime on the palate. This should appeal to those who like a refreshing but somewhat softer sparkling wine. 

Domaine Carneros view

Our final sparkling wine pour was the Domaine Carneros 2010 Vintage Brut Rose at $37.  Blush or rose sparkling wines are often very pretty to the eye, and this one was no exception.  It was made from 58% Pinot Noir and 42% Chardonnay.  On the nose I got some strawberries, floral notes and spices.  Palate wise it was very dry but balanced, crisp yet  fruity with some raspberry and strawberry and very pleasant yeast notes followed by a good finish.  Quite nice.

Domaine Carneros main buliding

We knew that Domaine Carneros produced some exceptional sparkling wines, but both of us were surprised at the excellence of their Pinot Noirs.  Frankly I would find a visit there well worthwhile simply to taste their Pinots.  But when you have both outstanding sparkling wines as well, it really elevates Domaine Carneros to one of those "must visit" wineries.  While our sparkling wines were sampled during the tour, the Pinots were at the end where we sat at small tables and could devote full attention to the wines.

Domaine Carneros patio

Regular readers of this blog will already know that I do not care for most American, light, fruity Pinot Noirs that seem more like a Beaujolais nouveau.  One wine maker I know refers to them as the "tooty fruity pinots."  I find most of these to be unbalanced, too thin and uninteresting.  It is not the style I dislike, but the presentation.  When I do encounter a good, light, refreshing, fruity Pinot Noir that is not intended to be aged and is all about freshness and fruit, I am actually quite pleased, even delighted.  For me it is all about balance.  Enter the Domaine Carneros 2012 Avant-Garde Pinot Noir at a mere $25.  It was aged for ten months in French oak.  The aroma was heavenly, with raspberry, cherry and some spice and floral notes.  On the palate it was beautifully balanced with very fresh fruit, good acid and a decent finish.  If you have tried fresh, fruity Pinot Noirs in the past and found them too thin, unbalanced or insipid, you should try this one.  For me this was a pure pleasure to drink.  Again, this is not one of those bigger bodied, serious Pinots to be cellared for years.  But it is wonderfully balanced and refreshing.  Highly recommended for a Pinot Noir that is all about freshness and fruit and is meant to be enjoyed now.

Domaine Carneros tasting area

Our next Pinot Noir pour was the Domaine Carneros 2012 Carneros Estate Pinot Noir at $36.  Again I got a wonderful nose, this time mostly cherry with some soft spicy undertones.  On the palate it was well balanced with cherry, plum and strawberry, well integrated tannins and a long finish.  Very nice for the price.

Domaine Carneros outdoor patio 

The favorite Pinot Noir for both of us, though, was the Domaine Carneros 2012 The Famous Gate Pinot Noir at $75.  Four different Pinot Noir clones were used for this,  and it was aged for fourteen months in French oak with 44% new oak.  After lovely aromas of cherry, plum, spice and some pleasant earth notes, I got soft, smooth, well balanced layers of black cherry, plum, black raspberry and vanilla with good acid and structure and a long complex finish.  Although very drinkable now, this Pinot has the structure to become even more interesting and complex with age.  Very highly recommended!

Domaine Carneros main building

Needless to say we loved the wines and tour at Domaine Carneros and highly recommend you visit them.  We strongly suggest that you take their "Art of Sparkling Wine Tour" which includes a very interesting 90 minute tour, tastings of sparkling wines and Pinot Noirs and individual bread and cheese plates. They are usually open from 10AM to 5:45PM. Tours are at 11AM, 1PM and 3PM and are $40.  "For reservations within 24 hours, requests for groups of 10 or more people, or for Château Society members, please call 707.257.0101 ext 161."  Or you may book a tour online by going here: Visits Last minute tour appointments may often be made, and tastings are available to the public without an appointment. 

Domaine Carneros entry sign
Domaine Carneros
1240 Duhig Rd
Napa, CA
Phone: 800-716-2788
Date of visit: August 12, 2014

Domaine Carneros sparkling wine rack

Domaine Carneros view from parking lot

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Peirson Meyer and L'Angevin Wines

Peirson Meyer and L'Angevin Wines are producing some truly remarkable wines, including some of my favorite Sauvignon Blancs and an amazing Pinot Noir.  Our visit and tasting was one of the most enjoyable and memorable events we have experienced in over forty years of visits to hundreds of wineries.  Because they produce their wines at the Cuvaison Estate Winery in Calistoga and do not have their own winery or tasting room yet, our tasting was at the winemaker's home in Angwin.

Winemaker's home

I had written to the winemaker, Robbie Meyer,  telling him how much I loved his Peirson-Meyer 2010 Ryan's Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc and asking if there was any chance of being able to taste some of his other wines.  He was gracious enough to extend an invitation to us.  My favorite winery visits are always those where I am able to meet and converse with the winemaker.  Mr. Meyer's deep passion, love and enthusiasm for wine, along with the superb quality of his wines, made this an experience we will long remember.

Front yard

In addition to being the winemaker, Mr. Meyer is part owner and co-founder of the two labels Peirson Meyer and L'Angevin.  L'Angevin (pronounced "lonj-ven.") is actually named after his maternal grandparents and was his first label that was founded with Alan Peirson in 2001.  Their initial release was a 2001 Chardonnay that was released in 2003.  In 2005 they founded the Peirson-Meyer label and their first release on that label was a 2005 Chardonnay released in 2007.  All current releases are on the Peirson-Meyer label now, but some L'Angevin Wines might be produced in the future.  Their wives, Lesley Warner-Peirson and Shannon Meyer, are also actively involved, making both of these wineries family owned and operated by the two families.

Back yard

Mr. Meyer is very pleasant, quite articulate and exceptionally knowledgeable, so we loved talking with him about wine and winemaking.  He began learning about wines at a high-end restaurant where he worked at age 16.  By age 18 he was a wine steward.  After obtaining his B.S. in Biology at the University of Georgia, he moved to California and soon enrolled at UC Davis where he obtained his Master's degree in Enology.  He worked for five vintages at Peter Michael Winery and for two vintages as winemaker for Lewis Cellars.  In addition to being the winemaker for Peirson-Meyer and L'Angevin Wines, he is a consulting winemaker for several other wineries in Napa Valley and for another in Santa Barbara.  But Mr. Meyer is more than simply another winemaker.  He has taken the intricate craft of winemaking to the level of an art form.  He is an enological artist.  (Alan Peirson is also an artist, focusing on ceramic work and sculptures of clay, wood, stone and bronze, plus vineyard management.) During our long meeting with Mr. Meyer, he shared some of his artistic vision and ideas about wines and winemaking, creating a unique experience for us that was very enjoyable and highly informative. After we tasted his wines, we concluded that Robbie Meyer is more than a craftsman and an artist; he is also an enological magician.

Robbie Meyer
Winemaker and Co-owner

Their focus is on four varietals: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon (including a Cabernet blend) and Pinot Noir.  Grapes are sourced from small, ultra-premium vineyards in California.  Their Chardonnay is either from Heintz Vineyard in the Sonoma Coast appellation where they have 25 acres of 40 year old vines, or from the Russian River Valley.  Sauvignon Blanc is from Ryan's Vineyard in Oak Knoll (25 acres of 15 year old vines) or from Kent Ritchie Vineyard in the Russian River Valley where the vines are forty years old.  Pinot Noir is from the Bateman Vineyard in the Sonoma Coast appellation north of Sebastopol where they have ten year old vines.  All of their Cabernet Sauvignon is from Napa Valley, including Pritchard Hill.

Back yard

Our tasting began with the Peirson Meyer 2013 Ritchie Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from Russian River Valley at $32.  It was whole cluster pressed, with wild yeast fermentation and barrel fermented in neutral oak for eight months.  Mr. Meyer explained why he thinks that with Sauvignon blanc aging in neutral oak is preferable to stainless steel.  No malolactic conversion was used.  Only 200 cases were produced.  On the nose I got a good aroma of citrus and peach.  On the palate I got white peach and grapefruit with good acid and a rich full mouthfeel that was amazingly well balanced and voluptuous while bursting with fresh fruit.  It had a long, excellent finish.  What I love about Peirson Meyer Sauvignon Blancs is their impeccable balance and perfect integration.  All of the components come together beautifully and harmoniously.  This 2013 Ritchie Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is amazingly fresh and simply superb, an example of California Sauvignon Blanc at its very finest!

Back yard

The second pour was the Peirson Meyer 2012 Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast ($55.)  I did not have the production notes on this vintage but the previous 2011 had a release of only 100 cases.  This 2012 saw full malolactic conversion but at a cooler temperature, making it very smooth but not buttery. On the nose I got mostly apricot, vanilla and some floral notes with minerality.  It was rich, smooth, creamy and full bodied on the palate with apricot, apple, vanilla, some minerality and great balance.  Finish was medium plus in length. Very nice.

Front yard

Our third wine was the fantastic Peirson Meyer 2012 Bateman Vineyard Pinot Noir at $60.  I got mostly red cherry and floral aromas on the nose.  On the palate it was rather full bodied and lush for a Pinot Noir but impeccably balanced.  This is one of those rare wines with such wonderful fruit, balance and nuance that it is a pure physical pleasure to retain it in the mouth.  I got rich, red cherry, vanilla and honeysuckle with undercurrents of subtle floral notes, accompanied by an incredibly long, beautiful, concentrated finish of rich, ripe black cherry and vanilla that seemed to continued forever.  My friend, who usually prefers Cabs to Pinots, was simply floored by this Pinot saying, "Wow.  This is just amazing!"  (He purchased a case of it.)  This is simply one of the finest California Pinot Noirs I've tasted, and it should even improve with some age. 

Front road

Our final pour was the Peirson Meyer 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at $90.  I got mostly cherry on the nose followed on the palate by juicy black cherry and black current that was very well balanced and silky, laced with soft, smooth tannins.  Although very drinkable, this is still a young wine with some "baby fat."  Its freshness and balance make it very appealing now, but it will continue to improve with time. 

Back yard

Needless to say, we very highly recommend Peirson Meyer and L'Angevin Wines.  Although we really liked all of their wines, we especially loved the Sauvignon Blanc and the Pinot Noir, two very special wines. Peirson Meyer and L'Angevin Wines is not open to the public, but you may call or email them to inquire about a possible tasting.  They are hoping to purchase a tasting room on Highway 29 in Napa Valley, so we will certainly report on that as soon as we learn of it.   They have a web page for locating their wines: Wine locator Some of their wines are available at Groezinger Wine Merchants  in Yountville.  They will also ship their wines:  Peirson Meyer shopping

Where we tasted

Peirson Meyer Wines / L'Angevin, LLC
PO Box 408
Oakville CA 94562
Phone: 707-944-1352
Date of visit: June 25, 2014