The 2009 Meteor Vineyard “Perseid” is a cult Napa Cabernet par excellence, hitting every mark: limited production, extraordinary pedigree, and fervent word-of-mouth buzz that’s spread from Calistoga to Atlas Peak. “Meteor excels with Cabernets that capture a gorgeous interplay of rich texture and the energy that is typical of Coombsville,” raves Antonio Galloni. “These are big, powerful Cabernets, yet retain a wonderful sense of poise.” 2009, a classic Napa vintage, delivered one of the best Perseids ever made, garnering 94 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Finely chiseled, packed with black fruit, power, crème-de-cassis velour, and yours for $150 today. Only 240 bottles.
In 1998, over a decade before Coombsville would be formally designated as a Napa AVA, Barry Schuler clinched one of the sub-region’s most brilliant sites for wine-growing. When he wasn’t working his way up the ranks at AOL, where he would become CEO, he was looking for a vineyard to call his own. On a tip that a few acres were opening up on a knoll on Napa Valley, Schuler drove out along green pastures dotting with cows to take a look. He purchased it on the spot.
What he had found was land that, for all intents and purposes, was literally ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The soils were well-draining, stony, and rich with volcanic sediment, able to infuse wines with fantastic mineral complexity. The knoll’s elevation and exposure, the influence of the San Pablo Bay, and a thick layer of creeping fog modulate the climate to allow for an elongated, even growing season. The result is what Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate calls “one of the top sites in Coombsville,” yielding wines with velour-like tannins and hedonistic fruit profiles.
Schuler brought on legendary viticulturist Michael Wolf to plant the 22 acres to just three Cabernet clones: 7 for its massive power, 4 for its structure, and 337 for its panoply of luscious red fruits. By the time of the first harvest in 2005, the word was out and everyone from Etude to Vineyard 29 to Arietta was lining up to buy Meteor Vineyard’s sublime berries.
There’s ample reason for the fourth vintage’s added heft and the fabulous forward litheness of this richly endowed yet beautifully elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. 2009 was a near perfect harvest, rivaling 2007. The summer was dry and mild, the clusters coming to full maturity well before the October rains.
Laying on 94 points in a 2012 review, The Wine Advocate called it “silky, polished and beautiful from the very first taste” and an “utterly impeccable, gracious wine,” adding: “I loved it.” After nearly a decade of age, it’s grown even more elegant and finely honed, drinking with the very best of the valley. A must-buy for Napa collectors.
- Wine Access Wine Team
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