2015 Lagier Meredith Mount Veeder Mondeuse

Winery

Lagier Meredith produces distinctive and highly-acclaimed Syrah as well as smaller amounts of Mondeuse, Malbec and Zinfandel from a 4.5 acre vineyard on Mt. Veeder. Just two individuals operate the entire enterprise, taking the term vins de garage to a new level. Steve Lagier and Carole Meredith spent almost eight years preparing the land before planting the vineyard in 1996. It took four additional years before they released their first wine in 2000. One reason it took so long was that both Steve and Carole could only work on the project while pursuing careers. Steve worked at Mondavi Winery for 14 years until he left in 1999, and Carole was a UC Davis enology professor and grape geneticist until 2003.   Standing at the southwestern end of the Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder experiences cooler summer temperatures and heavier winter rains than any of the other Napa mountain districts. At 1,300 ft. (400 m) Lagier Meredith’s vines enjoy the morning sun while the valley below is shrouded in fog. But as the valley begins to bake in the afternoon, Mt. Veeder is cooled by ocean breezes. Summer evenings are pleasantly warm. Shale and sandstone soils provide excellent drainage that results in reduced yields of tiny but intensely flavorful berries.   Winemaking at Lagier Meredith is simple as Steve and Carole prefer to let the vineyards speak for themselves. Green or rotten bunches of grapes are removed in the vineyards. The grapes are crushed and de-stemmed and fermented in plastic T bins, which provide excellent insulation and temperature control without the cost and weight of stainless steel tanks. The wines undergo no extended maceration (i.e. remaining on the skins after fermentation is finished) and are aged in neutral French oak; that is, barrels that have seen at least three previous vintages.   In the wine country it is often said that it takes a fortune to make a small fortune in the wine business. To this Carole replies, “ we didn't have any kind of fortune at all, only our paychecks and the willingness to work hard and live cheap.” We believe you will find a fortune in the exquisite taste of these wines!

Wine

Mondeuse is the black grape best known for the dark, aromatically attractive wines of Savoie in eastern France. It’s also the grandparent of Syrah. But because so little Mondeuse is grown outside of Savoie, Lagier Meredith’s vineyard on Mt. Veeder may be the only spot where these two “relatives” are grown in close proximity. The vines were planted in 2007. The winery describes the wine as “a dark and lush wine with intense aromas of dark fruit and rose petals <that’s> in it for the long haul.” 

Winemaking

Aged 23 months in neutral French oak. 

Tasting notes

90 points – Robert Parker. Aromas and flavors of black currants, blackberries, fresh plums and notes of lavender, savory herbs and wet earth. Decanting is recommended.

Appellation

Mt. Veeder (Napa)

Varietal

Mondeuse

Size

750ml

Closure

Cork

Alcohol

14.5%

UPC

NONE