Duncan Meyers and Nathan Roberts are unapologetic fans of high-acid, emphatically racy white wines but are leery of excessively sulfured whites "where anything subtle is beaten down by the SO2." When I visited their winery this spring one thing Duncan said about a particular chardonnay vineyard stood out: "you wouldn't want to live there." He was referring to the cold and windy climate that makes for a long growing season and necessitates late harvesting "at full phenolic maturity but with low Brix levels and good retention of natural acidity." Meyers and Roberts are such acid freaks that they've actually taken to roasting their own (excellent) coffee from green beans to a very light color because they find all of the commercially available coffees they've tried acid-deficient. Interestingly, their red wines, while also decidedly on the fresh side, can show real heft and fruit sweetness, but nothing that screams "New World" in any way.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vineyard: From the original Martin Ray Estate on Mount Eden
Orientation: 1600' elevation
Soil: Franciscan shale
Viticulture: 35 year old dry farmed, organic vines
Vinification: 100% whole cluster. Native yeasts for both primary and secondary fermentations. Minimal handling.
Aging: 11 months in neutral French oak
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar 90 Points Bright red. Spicy dark berries and cola on the deeply scented nose. Plush and appealingly sweet, offering juicy blackberry and peppery spice flavors...
Connoisseurs' Guide 92pts From the winemaker: Bright aromas of raspberry, currant and fresh plum explode from the glass, and draw us toward flavors which are similarly bright and possess amazing...
From the winemaker: A lovely wine. A skinny-dip dive through just-right water. Forest-floor earthliness, dark, savory spice and a slight touch of bright red fruit combine with a silky palate...