An amazing showcase of world-class wines in San Francisco’s Presidio

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This past Wednesday April 10th, The Mount Veeder AVA held its spring wine tasting event at the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco’s Presidio. Twenty eight wineries were pouring their world-class wines from the AVA that rises above the southern Napa Valley.

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The event consisted of trade, media and consumers and occurred on a perfect San Francisco spring day. Tasty bites including artisan breads, cheeses, and nuts were perfectly presented by Winery Chefs. As we will describe below, the wines sourced from this magic mountain were amazing.

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Without further ado, here’s some of our favorites!

Some Wonderful Surprises

Lagier-Meredith 2010 Syrah

A stunning “claret like” wine due to the many complex layers of flavors and aromatics. On the nose a bright floral perfume and subtle white pepper lead to lush layers of huckleberry, blackberry, and plum. Wonderful soft finish. Unlike most Syrah offerings that finish with pepper notes, this wine’s nuanced pepper notes greet you immediately and guide you all the way through. Very drinkable now but will gain nuance in the cellar for as long as you can hold out. A new favorite!

Lagier-Meredith 2012 Rosé

This wonderfully refreshing blend of 70% Syrah, 20% Zin, and 10% Mondeuse is the perfect complement to a warm summer evening. Beautiful floral and white pepper notes on the nose give way to delicate strawberry, bright raspberry, and a flash of tangy pomegranate. Finish is crisp and bright.

Lagier-Meredith 2011 Tribidrag (Zinfandel)

Tribidrag was the ancient name for Zinfandel in the Middle Ages, when it was widely grown along the Dalmatian Coast in present day Croatia. There’s no way to mistake this as anything but a bold mountain Zin. However, it has a slightly sweeter and softer side than those from the Howell and Atlas Peak AVAs. A very food friendly Zin that will pair with anything cooked over a flame. A worthy homage to its ancient European roots.

Spotted Owl Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir

This was the pleasant surprise of the day. To be honest, we expected a rather hot Carneros-like wine but found that this was just the opposite. Closer to a Russian River Pinot, this wonderful medium bodied Pinot really impressed. wonderful nose and delicate balance made this a standout!

Spotted Owl Vineyards 2009 Mountain Cuvee/Lev’s Cuvee

Both efforts are very big, tight and tannic which may not appeal to the finesse crowd but was a huge hit with us. Bold big dark berry flavors led the way with a nice lush structure. Both should cellar nicely.

The Reds

Progeny 2007 Special Selection Reserve Cabernet

This wine is nothing short of pure brilliance. Made as a side project of DdV favorite O’Shaugnessy Vineyards, this is as close to the perfect mountain cab as one could get. Bold rich mountain fruit, opulent mouth feel, and stunning balance and complexity are the reason we really loved this wine. A truly impressive masterpiece by noted winemaker Shaun Capiaux

Robert Craig 2010 Mount Veeder Cabernet

As our regular readers know, we love The Craig and this wine won’t change our minds one bit. Beautiful dark mountain huckleberry and blackberry abound with subtle hits of oak throughout. This has that softer mountain profile common to Mount Veeder with a long finish of graphite and a pinch of cedar. This will gain nuance in the cellar for 10+ years at least.

Anthem 2009 Mount Veeder Cabernet

Lovely floral and stone notes on the nose lead to rich opulent dark mountain berry on the mid. Great structure and balance with a long refined finish of smokey oak. Very impressive!

Yates Family 2009 Cabernet Franc
Yates Family 2009 Alden Perry Reserve Proprietary Blend

We became Yates family fans after the tasting event this past fall. Their wines are exceptional but also have very fan friendly price points making them even more attractive. The Cab Franc is simply wonderful with big fruit and a dry crisp finish that we love. The Alden Perry was a tremendous red blend of 45% Cab, 35% Merlot, and 20% Cab Franc. Rich and big and will pair wonderfully with grilled steak or hearty stews.

Mount Veeder Winery Elevation 1550 Cabernet
Mount Veeder Winery 2010 Reserve Red Wine

MV is among our favorite supermarket finds for their exceptional Napa Valley Cabernet that is nothing short of a steal. Their premium wines from Mount Veeder are even more impressive. Both of these wines are nothing short of stunning. Refined, complex and opulent. Both are very highly recommended.

Lampyridae Communication Block 2009 Red Wine
Lampyridae Communication Block 2010 Cabernet

John and Ashley Derr are primarily farmers who sell the majority of their grapes to other wineries. That is until they came up with the idea to create a terrific wine to support a very good cause. Their Communication Block project supports the Napa Valley Kids Connect program (which promotes academic achievement for children who have severe communication needs) by giving 100% of the proceeds of the sale of this wine to the program. Local vintners and a local artist donate their time to produce this delicious Syrah blend. The 2009 Red Wine is composed of 66% Syrah and 34% Cabernet and exhibits lush bright cherry, plum, and a nice spicy finish. The Cab is lush rich and filled with dark berry and plum with a long finish.

For more info or to purchase:

http://www.lampyridaevineyards.com/the-communication-block.html

Meadowcroft 2009 Cabernet, Foyt 2009 #77 Cabernet

Both of these wines, created by Mount Veeder legend Tom Meadowcroft
feature dark mountain blackberry, cassis, and ripe blueberry and lush mouth feel. Both finish long and balanced.

Rubissow 2006 Merlot
On the nose, dark berry abounds with hints of vanilla and spice. The mid features rich blueberry, huckleberry, and plum. Finish is long with notes of smokey oak, chocolate, and cedar. This is also a great value as is their Cab

The Whites

Spotted Owl Vineyards 2010 Chardonnay

We loved this wine at our first tasting this past fall and loved it just as much this time around. Bright and focused citrus and hints of pear are the highlights of this nicely balanced and refreshing Chard.

Hess Collection 2012 Albarino

We first discovered this wonderful “other white” last fall and are perhaps even more impressed with our second introduction. wonderful white peach and subtle apricot abound with a soft lush mouth feel and refreshing finish. A great food friendly summer wine.

Y. Rousseau 2010 Chardonnay Milady Mount Veeder

A beautiful Chard with a nice floral/citrus nose that leads to more rich citrus, lemongrass and hints of vanilla. Composed of 25% oak aging, the subtle yet clever complexity added lets the fruit stand out but adds just the right touch.

Conclusion

Once again Sam Peters and his staff created a wonderful tasting experience that allowed all of these wines to shine. Prior to the tasting, us media folk, were lucky enough to enjoy a panel of Mount Veeder experts allowing us an even better view of this AVA. Our next post will focus on what we learned in a new recurring feature called AVA Spotlight.

In summary, this was a wonderful day and we can’t wait until next fall when this magnificent AVA once again offers us a chance to sample these world-class wines!

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