2009 Meteor Vineyard Perseid Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville Napa Valley

2009 Meteor Vineyard Perseid Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville Napa Valley

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A past Wine Access story about 2009 Meteor Vineyard Perseid Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville Napa Valley

Poised, Powerful, Rich Texture, and Energy

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

Expert Ratings and Reviews

94 Points Wine Advocate
94 Points Vinous Media
93 Points Vinous Media
90 Points Wine Spectator

Customer Ratings

Based on 2 ratings

Napa Valley 2009

The 2009 vintage in California had a mix of weather conditions that kept growers busy all year long, but in the end resulted in an average-sized crop of very good wines. Ripe, rich, and full, rounder and more supple in their tannins than the 2008 and a notch under 2007 — but the best are excellent.

A slow start to the year was mitigated by good conditions through the summer; a couple of hot spells in August and September allowed the grapes to catch up.

The harvest started just ahead of normal, and things looked great until the 13th of October, when almost 4 inches of rain fell in a day. Fortunately, the rain was predicted well in advance, and many growers accelerated picking and were able to bring in much of the crop before the rain, especially Pinot Noir and other earlier-ripening grapes. The weather after the rain would be critical, as the risk of rot and dilution of flavors became a major concern for grapes not brought in before the rain. In most regions the weather improved and dried up the vineyards, extending hang-time into late October, and the majority of growers reported post-rain fruit coming in healthy and in good shape.

Key Dates

More than 13 inches of rain falls, enough to replenish depleted aquifers but not to undo the larger effects of the ongoing drought

Bud break during mid-month

Flowering during mid-month

Harvest for Sauvignon Blanc begins during first week, Merlot and Chardonnay during third week, Cabernet at month’s end

Harvest winds down towards month’s end; a total of 5.5 inches of rain falls throughout

Veraison early in the month

Almost 4 inches of rain falls; many accelerated harvest to get fruit in before the rain. Harvest pauses to wait for grapes to rebalance and dry out

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