Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wine and His Personality

Not to long ago Rodney Hand (Publisher of the Addison and the North Dallas Corridor magazine) asked me if would be interested in tasting a selection of wines from someone that he knew (Ramon Guerrero of Meadowlark Vineyard).

Ramon and his wife actually live in Plano TX and it was their dream to buy 17 acres in the Santa Ynez Valley (45 minutes away from Santa Barbara). Meadowlark Vineyard does not have currently have an affiliation with a local distributor but they have a total production of 2000 cases. I invited Ramon to Mercy as I thought it will be great to taste his "boutique-style" wine. Ramon brought in four wines for me to taste that day: 2006 Syrah, 2007 Merlot, 2007 Syrah and his 2007 Cabernet.

I specifically want to discuss the two Syrah selections but I should also mention that Meadowlark Vineyards is registered as an organic grower with the California Department of Agriculture and the Guerrero Family motto is: "We are what we eat and drink ".

2006 Syrah: It was very good but very old world in style, more dominant with the dried fruits of " figs, dates and prunes", medium to high acidity and an extreme level of minerality with an herbal finish. It was very Rhone in the style.

2007 Syrah
This wine was so bright and full of joy, had good density with a dominance of fresh fruit "black cherry, blackberry, plum", the structure was very silky, velvety, with low acidity and soft tanins. I understand that one vintage can be slightly different from another, that is what Mother nature has to offer. So, I had to ask the question "is this the same winemaker for both wines, the 2006 and the 2007 "?

He said "No" and then I understood why they tasted so differently. The 2006 was much more traditional style from an older gentleman (old school) and the 2007, much more brightness,density and younger expressions. Ramon told me that has just hired a new winemaker, fresh out of school and that he is very happy with what he is done with the wine. The wine takes on the personality of the winemaker.

Like I was saying earlier, Meadowlark Vineyard does not currently have a distributor in Texas but we will be working to bring it to Mercy and share my experience with you.

Vincent Havard
General Manager and Operating Partner