Wine & Travel

Snooth User: JonDerry

Day in Napa, 7/25 - Lagier Meredith, Corison

Posted by JonDerry, Jul 16, 2012.

I'm planning on being in Napa on Wednesday the 25th and will probably visit at least two wineries while there. Anyone care to meet up, just let me know.

My first priority seems to be Outpost Winery, though there are a few others I'm considering, I'll probably start at Outpost at 2pm if they can accommodate.

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Replies

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Reply by outthere, Jul 16, 2012.

Good choice, Maybe I can pull that day off. TRB makes a lot of his wines out of that facility. Perhaps we could work in a Rivers-Marie tasting? I could contact them and see if they are available afterwards. Might be dicey though because they are going to have their summer release any day now and they get kinda busy then. I'll check though if you're game.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jul 16, 2012.

Sounds great. Definitely open to Rivers Marie, though it looks like a bit of a hike from Outpost. I wonder if we should try for Rivers Marie at 1:30, then head to Outpost around 2:30 for a 3:00 appointment?

If Fox or NG can't get away from work, maybe we can get them out to an early dinner. If we get together in South Napa, I can wait til about 645-7 before leaving to make an 8:50 flight out of Oakland. Of course if things change I can always see about flying out the next morning.

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Reply by outthere, Jul 16, 2012.

RM is out as they are all going to be out of town. Syrah anyone? Lagier Meredith on Mt Veeder is a killer option.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jul 16, 2012.

Haven't heard of LM but I'm definitely game. Thinking Shafer and Morlet would be my backups if we have issues with scheduling Outpost.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jul 18, 2012.

Outthere and I are confirmed for Lagier Meredith for around 1 - 1:15 on Wednesday the 25th. Have to say this is a great find by OT, Napa Syrah doesn't get much attention, but they've built a career out of it by good old honest hard work, dedication, and talent. Love the story and wine-making practices they believe in, but most of all their wines really seem to stand out to the general public and critics alike. Chester's Anvil is a wine they produce in partnership with their neighbors in Mt. Veeder, Pott winery, how cool is that? Think I'll have to order some of their 2010 Chardonnay that's already sold out. Another great thing about LM and Chester's Anvil is the affordability of the wines. $48.00 for 750's of their Syrah (no reserve or special vineyard designation's made), and $28.00 for the Sonoma Coast, Chester's Anvil Chardonnay.

After LM, we'll be then heading to Outpost at 3:00. I've never been here either, but by all accounts, their tasting room boasts some incredible views atop Howell Mountain (2200 ft. above the valley floor), and they also apparently make wines to match their 42 acre property, including an allocated Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah that are highly rated and tough to get. We'll probably be sampling their 2010 Grenache, Zinfandel, and one more wine. The fact that their 09's are already sold out or allocated says a lot about the success of the wines and their growing popularity.

If any of you would like to join, let us know and we'll put in a request with the winery. We're also thinking of having an early dinner afterwards, depending on who can make it out.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 20, 2012.

So looks like I am in for the dinner.  I'd be really interested in a bottle of the Outpost PS if you can grab me a bottle.  Just noticing that the basement is woefully short of good petite sirah. The website says it's gone, but I know how charming you guys can be.  (And it can be found at WineLibrary, at least the 2005 can.)

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Reply by JonDerry, Jul 26, 2012.

Had a great day in Napa...Lagier Meredith kept us late, but we learned a lot from Carole and Steve, while soaking in their tremendous views and tasting their pure and precise 2009 Syrah. Plenty of interesting stories heard and told, all in the company of some friendly resident cats.

On the way out we called Outpost, and they told us not to come as we'd be too late for the 3:00 tasting. We called a couple of other places (Larkmead, Chappellet) that shot us down as we tried to fill in our schedule, but in the end we decided just to drive up the main drag in Napa. We considered Alpha Omega and Beaulieu, but ultimately wound up at Corison on a hunch. Neither Outthere or myself had ever been, but OT luckily knew the host and we were treated to a large format vertical of Napa Valley Corison Cabernet Sauvignon and select vintages from their Kronos estate vineyard.

All wines were listed under 14% alcohol, which is very rare in Napa Cabernet these days. Some highlights for me were the 2006 Kronos, 2006 Napa Valley, and the 2009 Napa Valley which is yet to be released. We also tasted a 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Rose, which was also quite a treat.

After the tastings, we met Foxall at Red Wood for dinner. Good pizza's and salads were had, and I don't think we'll be forgetting that 89' Beaucastel any time soon. Was glad it lived up to its reputation, though it was completely different than I expected, it was so light on its feet that it could have passed for a craft brew in some respects as well as mature wine.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jul 26, 2012.

View from LM taken from my Blackberry, though I trust OT has some better pics from his Ipad.

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Reply by outthere, Jul 26, 2012.

Great to meet JD and Fox. A quality time was had by all. And yes, that Beaucastel did not suck!  iPad to Snooth photo upload? You jest! On the road this morning but have a couple shots uploaded to FB. LoRes...

Boy this view looks like JD's...

Hardy hooked us up with a 9 bottle Cabernet flight. Large and small format.

My LM vertical on the horizontal.

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Reply by EMark, Jul 26, 2012.

Wow.  That is very cool.

 

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 27, 2012.

Hey, Emark, you came up in dinner convo when we discussed how hard it is for some wine fanatics to drink their best bottles because they like red and their wives like white.  (JD has the same issue, and OT's wife has taste that diverges from his in a number of ways, but she's got a very accurate palate, from all accounts. Lucky me, my wife likes wine almost as much as I do and many of the same types.)

This was my 3rd offline with JD and once again a terrific get together.  Meeting OT was doubtless the first of many get togethers, since he lives very near some family of mine and I traipse through that part of Sonoma whenever I get the chance.  We all lamented that other invitees couldn't make it, but we managed to corral some good wine anyway.  JD's '89 Beaucastel was the runaway WOTN, in spite of a cork that gave us cause for concern and an appearance that prompted the use of the word "murky" more than once.  It unfolded over the night as old wines can but often don't do--bigger danger is a quick fall apart, but those Beaucastel's are built to last.  Since JD couldn't take it back on the plane, we were obliged to finish that bottle.

OT brought a Jemrose Syrah that was a stunner, too--Syrah can be very terroir sensitive but there's an element of typicity to it that was here in abundance, along with the vineyard's very clear expression.  I'd like to drink a horizontal of Jemrose Syrahs from that year and maybe some other bottling from the same grapes to really get to know that wine.  I had to restrain myself a bit, since I was driving JD to the airport after dinner.  (By the time on his post, looks like he made his flight, but it a little closer than I wanted to pull it--forgot that we would need to take OT to his truck first!)

My contribution, for contrast to the Beaucastel, was a 2009 CdP from St. Siffrein--not as old nor as lofty as the Beaucastel, and not one I would age for that period of time, but it was starting to show well and I was glad to get the insights of OT and JD on this one. 

There was also some bottle swapping and then a pleasant ride (with only a little speeding) to get JD back to the airport just in time for his flight.

Thanks to JD and OT for organizing.

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Reply by outthere, Jul 27, 2012.

Thanks Fox. Jemrose sells their Cardiac Hill fruit to Mike Officer at Carlisle as well. The pepper and smoke are trademarks of Jim Macks fruit from this site. Compare that to the lean high acid fruit from the Halcon vineyard and you have two very different examples of this wonderful grape. Both cool climate but one more extreme than the other. Perhaps we can do a horizontal of either the Cardiac or the Halcon some day soon.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jul 27, 2012.

Thanks again for the ride, Fox. Thank goodness for printing boarding passes in advance, and of course there was no way I could've checked that wine or any bags, but it turned out that they hadn't started boarding yet when I got up there. I stormed into the gate and they had to send me back, pretty funny. In the end, it was worth it to hang around Red Wood for the time we did, otherwise it might've been too rushed.

Have to say, for at least OT and myself the Beaucastel was especially refreshing after a full day of tasting, especially with all we were obliged to taste at Corison! I had a much harder time getting a feel for the Syrah and CdP than I would have if they had been my first couple bottles of the day. That said, your impressions were probably a little more significant having come in with a fresh palate.

Also, I wonder how much the plane ride in the morning affected the cork.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 27, 2012.

Good question about that cork.  All I know is the wine was terrific and got better and better. 

I should have taken a picture of your mouths when we got to the restaurant--both of you had completely purple rims around your teeth.  Last time I saw a mouth like that was when I first met Eric Guido at VinItaly when I was hanging around with GregT there last year.  It's something I aspire to, but not good if you are stopped while driving.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jul 27, 2012.

That's funny...we were definitely at double digits in tastings at Corison alone. Makes me wish I didn't reach for that 2nd glass at Lagier Meredith, but I had no idea what I was in store for us at the time.

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Reply by outthere, Jul 27, 2012.

JD, you have to spit more swallow less!

I've been told that the cork issue is quite common with that vintage and that the majority of the bottles have been so bretty that they were undrinkable. I remember stating "I hope you like brett" when I first swirled and sniffed the CdP but it blew off pretty quickly. I have never known brett to blow off so I noted the aroma as merde. By the end of the meal that wine was screaming good. I'm hearing from around winegeekdom that good '89s are few and far between. We got lucky.

Back at NVW&C they gassed my Jemrose for me so I get to resume the adventure this evening without fear of decline.

Mirrors? We don't need no stinking mirrors. The purple teeth reminds me of a pic of a friend of mine at an offline with his Rudy nametag, DRC Monopoly and purple teeth. Priceless!

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 27, 2012.

LOL!

Now that's a good idea, a wine version of Monopoly.  So the Baltic/Med properties are like Two Buck Chuck and one of those The Wine Group bottles.  The orange NY/St. James/Tenn are Mondavi/Beringer/Mayacamas or the like.  Latour and DRC for the B'Walk/Park Place.

Of course, Rudi didn't mess up that badly (Monopoly, how great!), he just invented vintages of wines that didn't exist... and some of the labels were laid out wrong.  As we've noted elsewhere, he could have pulled it off easier if he had used negoce labels that no one knew, but the nouveau collectors shun the negoce bottles because they don't understand them.  Another funny way to mess it up would be to use the wrong--feminine for masculine or vice versa--determiner for Montrachet, Tache, etc.

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Reply by EMark, Jul 27, 2012.

The day you guys had seems to be getting better and better in my mind.  Soon it will be the stuff of legend.

I have to defend my wife's preference for white wine.  It works out fine for us.  I do prefer reds, but if we are having grilled chicken, frankly, I would prefer to accompany that with a Chardonnay.  If we are having seafood, I may look for a Sauvignon Blanc or an Albarino.  If I want a red with dinner and she wants a white, then we open two bottles of wine.  We don't seem to have any problems with leftover wine.  Leftover wine is always finished off within day or so.  If I go into the vault and pick a special wine (invariably red), I, of course, offer it to her.  She will take a taste, and, more often than not, she will agree with my opinion and get a new glass for herself.  Sometimes not.

.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jul 27, 2012.

Definitely right on the more spitting, though I did mix in some pouring out, spitting, and mostly handing over the last bits to Carlos (the driver). If it were the me of a couple of years ago I would've probably been dizzy by dinner time.

Funny you mention the issues with the 89's. I know I've seen some affected bottles reported, the majority of the CT notes on the Beaucastel are all pretty stellar. It made me think of a lot of the money I've put towards Napa Cabs that I'd wished I'd spent on 89-90 Rhone's.

It was a great day Mark, too bad you and others couldn't have joined in.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 27, 2012.

No need to defend.  Anyone who lets you have your enjoyment of red is good in my book.  We'd have to double the cellar size if we did that, I am afraid.  We keep very little white on hand--I've got a handful of white burgs, a handful of Huet Vouvray, and the rest last about a week or three before we drink them, usually.  Worst thing is that sometimes we don't have a great fit on hand that's ready to go. 

Funny thing is that not only does my wife like reds as much as I do, we are very similar in which wines we like.  While she might prefer Talty to Mauritson by a hair, we both put them 1-2 on our zin list, and other than a few higher-acid bottlings that I like and she doesn't care for, we are pretty much in agreement on most of the other things we drink.  We're both not into buttery chardonnay (about the only chards we like are stony Chablis), and we like a good dose of grapefruit or lime zest in our whites.  I like white Burg a bit better than she does, and she seems to like pinot grigio more than I do.  Other than that, we're really well matched.  Still, if she liked white and not red so much, I'd work with it.  Sounds like you have done that quite well.

Even coming in on the end of it was fun, but after hearing about the LA dinner, I was more sorry than ever I couldn't get down there.  There will be another time.  Meanwhile, we have to get GdP out here, and convince NapaGirl to join us.

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