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Mount Veeder Winery Reserve Red 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
  • TP92
  • WS90
14.5% ABV
  • RP90
  • JS93
  • WW91
  • W&S92
  • TP91
  • TP94
  • WE93
  • CG90
  • WE94
  • WE95
  • WS92
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep ruby color. Vibrant aromas of dark brambly berry, blackberry, and cherry with bay leaf, sage, and toasty oak layers on the nose, highlighted by notes of cassis and tobacco. Intense and complex. Rich and powerful with enticing flavors of currant, cassis, bay leaf, and tobacco entwined in this concentrated wine. The intensity of this mountain fruit shows as flavors of bay leaf and spice, with dark ripe plums rounding out the lingering finish.

Blend: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, 2% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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TP 92
Tasting Panel
Dark and juicy with concentrated black plum, spice and tangy acidity; rich, smooth and complex with lovely flavors and depth. 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Rich and Bordeaux-like, with well-defined cedar, cigar box, tobacco leaf and dried currant flavors joining loamy earth, sage and underbrush. Ends with firm, chewy tannins. Best to cellar shortterm.
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Mount Veeder Winery

Mount Veeder Winery

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Mount Veeder Winery, Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
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Mount Veeder Winery is a dramatic estate with three vineyards carved high in the hillsides of the Mayacamas Mountains, overlooking southern Napa Valley. The property totals 121 acres, mostly forest and brush, out of which only 47 are planted to vine.

Vines ranging from 1,000–1,600 feet in elevation cling to rugged, steep slopes that offer cool conditions that lead to slow ripening, which extends the growing season. Mount Veeder is usually the last to harvest in Napa Valley. The result is fruit with highly concentrated flavors - big, bold and brambly - a Cab lover's feast.

Mount Veeder Winery was the first in Napa Valley to plant all five red Bordeaux varieties in the same vineyard. Its expertise with these grapes is manifest in Mount Veeder Winery Reserve, a meritage blend of these noble grapes, which are still grown on the property.

Mt. Veeder

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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. Twenty-two 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.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

ULL736313_08_2008 Item# 120304