Nose

Aromas of black tea, chocolate/mocha and red peppercorns surround a core of blackberries, red currants and cassis.

Palate

Densely packed aromas reverse on the palate, opening to a mouthwatering expression of bright red fruit. The wine is rich and concentrated with firm, velvety tannins ending in a long warm spice driven finish. Though absolutely gorgeous now, this wine will age gracefully in the cellar.

Growing Conditions

Well-drained soils impart depth and minerality to a wine. During the critical maturation period warm, even temperatures allow for leisurely ripening that softens tannins and produces lush, bright fruit. Both of those aspects of a great site are amply evident at Meteor Vineyard. The vineyard possesses another, celestial quality that is uniquely Meteor, something we recognize every time we ferment grapes. It shows up in the wine’s dense but clear violet-edged color, and a trademark Meteor aroma of red cherries and blackberries. The three clones planted on the vineyard make our 100% Meteor Vineyard Cabernet more complex to create, challenging us to find that precise balance between the three vineyard expressions. 2013 was an exceptional year in Napa. It began with a great deal of concern because of the lack of winter rainfall. It was one of, if not the driest year since records have been kept. Early season irrigation produced healthy canopies, and the vines were in good condition during the critical bloom/fruit set period. Favorable weather conditions allowed for successful pollination, leading to a potentially very large crop. It was a long growing season, with no really significant heat waves, allowing the fruit to develop slowly and completely. Regularly scheduled fungicide applications were effective in controlling mildew, in a year of very high pressure. Meteor produced a crop somewhat above average in yields, even after significant thinning, but of truly exceptional quality. The fruit was harvested at night, on September 24th and 25th. This was a bit earlier than typical, but the early start to the growing season, and extremely favorable conditions all season long allowed ample time for optimal flavor development.

Winemaking

We believe that in the perfect viticultural situations - when the right grapes are planted in the right place - that the best wine that can be made is the one that allows the vineyard to speak clearly and forcefully. The winemaking will therefore be simple and non- interventional, like cooking with the finest fresh ingredients and just allowing the ingredients to shine. That said, our approach is to employ the best of traditional and modern winemaking techniques in teasing out every last ounce of plush fruit and tannin from the grapes. The fruit is harvested when it’s perfectly ripe, generally in late October. Sorting out defective fruit, raisins and sunburned berries is done in the field, and again at the winery to ensure that we’re working with beautiful, perfectly clean grapes. These are lightly crushed and then cold soaked for several days prior to fermentation, allowing the extraction of flavors and colors before the alcohol from fermentation changes the nature of the extraction. As the fermentation heats up, pump-overs, the mixing of the fermentor that submerges the “cap” for optimal extraction, is increased from two to three and than reduced as the fermentation slows. Draining and pressing is based on tasting and our palate for the quality and quantity of the tannins. Only the free run juice is used for Meteor Vineyard wines. The wines go to barrel before malo lactic fermentation, which occurs in the barrel. We use barrels from several coopers: Alain Fouquet, Tarrensaud and D & J are current favorites. The first racking is done after the finish of malolactic and subsequent rackings are performed based on the evolution of the wine. Every stage of growing grapes and making wine contains its own challenges, surprises and rewards. The final blend of Meteor Vineyard wine highlights the strengths of each of the three clones of Cabernet Sauvignon in the vineyard. With only 95 cases produced, our 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.

Aging

Barrel aged in 100% new French oak for 22 months and then bottle aged for an additional year prior to release.