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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Get Vertical with Four Vintages!

Have you ever had the opportunity to try four vintages of the same Cabernet together?  Meteor Vineyards in Napa Valley's Coombsville appellation gave us the unique experience of a vertical tasting - we got to try every vintage of their Cabernet Sauvignon, starting with their first release in 2005.  Most wineries prefer to sell their wine as soon as possible after bottling, so we wanted to share this rare opportunity for you to try a vertical.  

A vertical tasting can be a lot of fun - turning any regular party into a memorable event. It is a wonderful way to experience the evolution of a wine from the same vineyard and winemaker year after year. Everyone will have their favorites which creates a great conversation about what makes each vintage so special. Popular opinion says 2007 was the best year of the decade, but what do you think? (My personal favorite of the vertical was the 2005 because of its incredible earth-driven flavors mixed with subtle undertones of beautifully ripened fruit.)
Meteor Vineyards was established in 2002 by former CEO and chairman of AOL, Barry Schuler and his wife Tracy. Winemakers Dawnine and Bill Dyer have been with Meteor since its inception in the late 1990s. They saw the potential of the 22 acre vineyard and, with the help of vineyard manager Mike Wolf, planted it solely to Cabernet Sauvignon.   

Dawnine checking out the Cabernet
Dawnine checking out the Cabernet grapes 
Dawnine pioneered the use of champagne making methods in California's fledgling sparkling wine industry in the 1970s. Over the course of her 24-year tenure at Domaine Chandon, Dawnine rose up through the ranks of the winery, ultimately becoming vice president and principal winemaker. She and her husband Bill also created Dyer Winery on Diamond Mountain. Reserve Club members enjoyed the Dyer Cabernet a few years back.

 Check out a quick panorama from our visit
to the Meteor Vineyard! 

A $616 retail value for $499
when you buy all four
(a 20% savings!)
Meteor Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
The 2005 vintage can be characterized by a long, even growing season resulting in optimum ripeness and an abundant crop. It is deep, ripe and concentrated. The vibrant, blue/crimson edged color is echoed by aromas of red and black cherry with currant and warm spice overtones of cardamom and clove. Modern ripe fruit flavors meld with classic Cabernet structure.   
Meteor Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2006    
The 2006 harvest was far more challenging than 2005. Uneven bloom set during Spring led to a veritable "fruit cocktail" - green berries and raisins interspersed with perfect, concentrated fruit. Careful sorting was required both in the field and on the sorting table. This is classically structured Cabernet; succulent and vivacious dark fruit flavors supported by fine ripe tannins.    
Meteor Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007  
The universal praise for the 2007 vintage in Napa Valley is well justified. The 2007 vintage produced wines of considerable power coupled with ripe and supple fruit character. On the nose, aromas of plum, fresh blackberries & black cherry compote mingle with sandalwood, sweet tobacco and bittersweet chocolate. The palate is rich and supple with firm assertive tannins and a complex mineral driven finish.     
Meteor Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2008   
While the press remained enamored of the 2007 vintage, an unsung classic aged gracefully in the cellar. 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. 

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