Lagier Meredith Mondeuse 2011
The flavor of the wine is reminiscent of the Northern Rhône in its red berry and white pepper aromas, but it has more extract and body. It has intense flavor and deep color but, unlike some other red wines, where big color usually means big tannin, Lagier Meredith Syrah is not harshly tannic so it drinks well when it is young, but it is also expected to age well.
Centered at the peak for which it is named, Mount Veeder is Napa’s largest sub-AVA. But even though the entire appellation spreads over 16,000 acres, vineyards cover a mere 1,000. Scattered among Douglas firs and bristlecone pines, Mount Veeder vineyards extend south from the upper elevations of the Mayacamas Mountains—the highest point at 2,400 feet—to the border of the Carneros region. Less than 25 wineries produce wine from Mount Veeder fruit.
Winemaking began early in this appellation. In 1864, Captain Stelham Wing presented the first Mount Veeder wine to the Napa County Fair; it came from today’s Wing Canyon Vineyard. Prohibition, of course, halted winemaking and viticulture wasn’t revitalized until the founding of Mayacamas Vineyards in 1951 and Bernstein Vineyards in 1964.
The Bernstein Vineyards was actually home to the first Petit Verdot in California, planted in 1975. Today most of the Petit Verdot in Napa Valley originates from this vineyard.
Rocky volcanic clay and ancient seabed matter dominate Mount Veeder soils—perfect for Bordeaux varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot enjoy spectacular success. These varieties produce wines rich in brambly blackberry and black cherry fruit with herbal and floral aromatics. Structures are moderate to assertive and wines have great staying power.
Chardonnay from Mount Veeder is lush, full and balanced mineral and fresh citrus flavors.
One of the oldest and distinctive red grape varieties of Savoie, Mondeuse is showing great potential as global demand for this rare wine grows. Some of the best Mondeuse comes from the Bugey region or is sold as a varietal Vin de Savoie, often from a particular cru. Somm Secret—DNA profiling has confirmed that Mondeuse and Syrah are related. The two have a lot of common characteristics, namely a dense color with black fruit on the palate and herbal or spicy aromas.